Brasato al Vino Rosso is northern Italy’s version of pot roast. The descriptive phrase means braised in red wine, and the technique results in beef that’s elegantly flavored and pull-apart tender. Barolo wine is traditional, but Chianti or any hearty dry Italian red will work.
The dish is typically prepared with the “trinity” of onion, carrot, and celery. I have removed the carrot, because it’s carb-y, and the celery, because I don’t like how it works without the carrot. I’ve replaced the sweetness with red bell pepper. I’ve left flour out of the sauce, so it’s a little thin but very full-flavored just the same.
The beef is typically served over pasta, but that defeats the purpose of reducing the simple carbs in the dish, so I usually serve it over spaghetti squash, but you could use mashed cauliflower, sautéed eggplant, or any vegetable bed you like.
Braised Beef, Italian-Style
- 2 lbs round or chuck steak, approx. 1½" thick
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 sm. red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
- 1 sm. onion, chopped
- 2 lg cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c. water
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 14.5-oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 bottle dry red wine, divided
- 4 lg leaves fresh basil, plus more for garnish, as desired
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp butter
- freshly grated Parmesan for serving, as desired
Moisten steak with wet paper towels. Season lightly w/ salt and pepper.
Coat bottom of Dutch oven or lg casserole with olive oil. Cook steak in oil over med.-high heat until well browned on both sides, approx. 10 min. per side.
Meanwhile, sauté bell pepper and onion over med. heat in lg skillet coated w/ olive oil.
When beef is browned, add sautéed pepper and onion, garlic, water, bouillon cube, stewed tomatoes, celery salt, and Italian seasoning. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to med.-low.
Reserve ½ c. wine and pour rest of bottle over beef.
Cover. Simmer 1½ hrs.
Add basil, parsley, and bay leaf. Continue to simmer until steak is fork-tender and reaches at least 145 F, approx. 30-60 min.
Transfer meat to heated platter w/ cooked pasta, spaghetti squash, sautéed eggplant, mashed cauliflower, or other bed, as desired. Remove bay leaf. Using slotted spoon, top beef w/ lg vegetable pieces. Set aside to rest.
Meanwhile, make sauce: Add remaining wine to liquid in pot. Add butter. Increase heat to med-high and just bring to low boil. Immediately reduce heat to med.-low and simmer 5 min., stirring occasionally. Transfer to serving dish.
Garnish meat and serve w/ sauce and freshly grated Parmesan, as desired.
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