Beef Braised in Red Wine - Brasato al Barolo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A classic Piemontese dish
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 - 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 bottle of Barolo
  • 4 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 stalks of celery including the leafy section, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed with the back of a heavy skillet
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine the chuck roast, bottle of Barolo, garlic, onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, juniper berries, peppercorn and cloves in an enameled cast iron pot and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 24 hours. During that time turn the meat over midway to ensure that both sides have been evenly marinated.
  2. The next day, remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry; the marinade should be reserved in another container. Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and heat on medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the chuck roast and brown evenly on the top, bottom and sides. Be patient and try not to turn the meat before it has developed a brown crust, this is what will help give the finished dish a rich flavor. As the meat is browning the room will be filled with the wonderful aroma of the wine. Once the meat is browned, remove it to a platter and add the carrots, celery and onion (which was part of the original marinade). Saute the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring several times.
  3. Return the browned chuck roast to the pan along with the contents of the original marinade, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the contents to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to achieve a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 2½ hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool and once cool place in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. The next day remove the pot from the refrigerator, discard any fat that has accumulated at the top of the pot and place the meat on a cutting board.
  6. Cut away and discard any butcher's twine from the roast, and begin to slice into slices, no thinner than ¼ inch each. Set aside.
  7. Remove the bay leaves, black peppercorns, cloves from the cooking liquid (the crushed juniper berries will be more or less dissolved or soft). I find the easiest way to do this is by using a strainer. Place the rest of the cooking liquid and vegetables back into the pot and using an immersion blender, puree the contents until uniformly smooth.
  8. Arrange the sliced chuck roast back into the pot, submerging it under the sauce. At this point, the pot may be covered and refrigerated for a day or place into the freezer to be finished at a later date.
  9. Continue the cooking process, if you have frozen the brasato remove from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator the day before you plan to finish the dish. Remove the pot from the refrigerator and place it on a burner over medium heat. Bring to a slow simmer and continue to cook, partially covered until the sliced beef is fork tender. The time will vary depending upon the meat you have used, generally takes a minimum of ½ hour to 1½ hours. You do not want the meat to fall apart, but the slices should be tender. Check the tenderness every 30 minutes.
  10. The brasato may be served with creamy polenta and roasted carrots.
  11. The leftover gravy from the brasato makes an excellent sauce for fettucini or tagliatelle.
Recipe by LaBellaSorella at