Brasato al Barolo (Beef stew with Barolo wine)

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PRESENTATION

When it comes to rich and succulent recipes, the Piedmont region rises above the field, unrolling some truly magnificent dishes. From the timeless vitello tonnato to the famous ravioli del plin. Then moving on through recipes such as salsa verde, the irresistible companion of boiled meats and sandwiches. Desserts? The best! The bonet or panna cotta, whose consistency never ceases to conquer the world's eager palates. And after this irresistible array of delicacies, which are part of the heritage of Italian cuisine, not even on purpose, we move on to the top of all the recipes: braised beef with Barolo wine. Very popular after the first course prepared using the eponymous red wine from Piedmont. A rich and succulent recipe to be made and given to guests during special occasions, and why not, even for the Christmas holidays. Since we don't like to waste food, we decided to fortify the cooking base by blending in the vegetables from the marinade, but if you prefer a brighter color and an even stronger flavor, just discard them and let the base reduce, thus obtaining a very colorful reduction. Now that you know everything there is to know about braised beef with Barolo, all you have to do is get to the stove to make this cult delicacy of our cuisine!

INGREDIENTS
Beef 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg) - chuck shoulder
Barolo wine 3.17 cups (750 ml) - (1 bottle)
Carrots 0.35 lb (160 g) - (about 2 average)
Celery ¼ lb (100 g) - (about 2 average ribs)
Yellow onions 0.4 lb (180 g) - (about 1 large)
Garlic 1 clove
Rosemary 1 sprig
Laurel 2 leaves
Cloves 3
Ground black pepper 4
Cinnamon sticks 1
Butter 1 tbsp (15 g)
Extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup (50 g)
Fine salt to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Brasato al Barolo (Beef stew with Barolo wine)

To prepare the braised meat with Barolo, start by making a seasoning bag. Put the cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon in a piece of sterile gauze 1. Close and tie off with kitchen string 2. Then also tie rosemary and bay leaves and movo on to the vegetables 3.

Clean the celery, carrot and onion, cut into 3/4 - 1" (2-3) cm thick chunks, then clean the garlic clove 4. Put the meat, vegetables, the bag and the seasonings into a large bowl 5. Then cover everything with wine with the meat is completely covered 6.

Then cover with transparent wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 8-12 hours 7. After the time has passed, drain everything without throwing away the base 8. Take out the meat and place it on the cutting board, dry it with absorbent paper 9.

In a frying pan, melt the butter in the oil over medium heat 10. As soon as the base is hot, add the meat and brown over a high heat 11. Turn it on all sides so that a crust forms on the surface 12.

After a few minutes transfer the meat and its base into a large saucepan 13, heat for a moment over medium heat and add the drained vegetables 14 and let them season over a lower heat for about 15 minutes 15.

At this point you can add salt and cover up to half of the meat with the marinade 16. Bring to a boil and then close with a lid, lower the flame a bit and let it simmer for 1 hour 17. After the time has passed, turn over18

and, only if it is needed, add a little more marinade liquid 19. Continue cooking for another hour 20. Once the braised meat is cooked, take it out of the pot and put it aside on a plate covered with a lid. Remove the seasonings 21.

Before blending the vegetables and the base of the cooking liquid 22 with an immersion mixer, you can collect some liquid and keep it aside. This way you can add to it if needed to obtain the desired consistency 23. In the meantime, slice the meat, to obtain 2-3 slices per person 24 and place on a serving plate; dab the slices with the sauce. Your braised beef with Barolo wine is ready, enjoy!

 

Storage

The Barolo braised meat can be kept for no longer than two days in the refrigerator, better if covered with the sauce, which in this case is good to stretch with water to completely cover the slices; also the dish should be covered with transparent wrap. Freezing is not recommended. The marinade has a maximum storage time of 24 hours, beyond this you should discard the liquid because it is saturated with fermented substances from the meat and vegetables.

Tips

If you prefer you can also not add butter but only the oil; on the contrary, if you prefer only butter, it would be better to use it clarified. In some versions, pork fat is added to make the Barolo braised meat richer and tastier. Don't want to waste any of the good base? Prepare a cold roux with some cold water and cornstarch. The mixture will be poured directly into the pan and diluted using a whip: it will make a delicious accompanying cream!

The 3 rules for a top Barolo braised beef!

What is the most suitable meat cut for braised meat?
Before answering, let's start with the type of meat, definitely beef. Veal, tender and juicy, is best suited for quick cooking to appreciate its freshness and delicacy. Beef instead, firmer and less tasty, is perfect for stews and boiled meats. As far as the cut is concerned, we prefer one with a good ratio between flesh and fat mass, including connective tissue. These soft parts in fact improve the quality of the meat, which remains soft and juicy when the cooking is over. For this reason the most suitable cut is undoubtedly the chuck shoulder.

Double cooking
In addition to the choice of the cut, to allow the braised Barolo beef to remain tender inside, double cooking is very important. What's that? It's very simple. You start by frying the piece of meat in a pan. This seals the surface of the meat, which retains its shape better, and then prevents the juices from escaping during cooking. Then we move on to the real cooking, which is done by adding liquid broth or wine in our case, but without the meat being completely covered. Otherwise, in this case, it would be boiled and not braised.

Barolo or another wine?
Purists rightly argue that braised meat requires Barolo for this delicious preparation. Therefore, variations such as Bonarda, Nebbiolo or Barbera are not allowed. Do not be surprised, however, if you find that the wine is stretched with water for marinating. It is in fact a rather common technique: it only serves to increase the amount of liquid needed to cover the meat... in this way you will avoid using more bottles of this noble wine without having problems with the cooking: the water will evaporate leaving in the meantime the taste of the wine!