Beef in Barolo: A hol­i­day pot roast from north­ern Italy

The Week (US) - - Leisure -

Ev­ery hol­i­day sea­son, the “hearty yet el­e­gant” braise be­low is en­joyed in house­holds across Italy’s Pied­mont re­gion, says Jack Bishop in the cook­book Tast­ing Italy, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Amer­ica’s Test Kitchen and Na­tional Ge­o­graphic. Our ver­sion uses a hum­ble chuck-eye roast—the testers’ fa­vorite cut for braises—but it’s a spe­cialoc­ca­sion dish be­cause it re­quires a full bot­tle of “the king of wines”—Barolo—which cooks down to a “lus­trous” dark sauce. cetta and cook un­til fra­grant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in wine, scrap­ing up any browned bits and smooth­ing out lumps. Stir in toma­toes and sprigs of pars­ley, rose­mary, and thyme.

Re­turn roasts to pot along with any juices. Bring to boil. Cover pot tightly with foil, then cover with lid; trans­fer pot to oven. Cook, turn­ing roasts ev­ery 45 min­utes, un­til meat is fork-ten­der, about 3 hours.

Trans­fer roasts to a carv­ing board, tent with foil, and al­low to rest while you fin­ish sauce. Let brais­ing liq­uid set­tle 5 min­utes, then skim off ex­cess fat. Stir in minced thyme. Bring to a boil and cook, whisk­ing vig­or­ously to help veg­eta­bles break down, un­til sauce thick­ens and re­duces to about 3½ cups, about 18 min­utes. Put sauce through a strainer into bowl, press­ing on solids to ex­tract as much liq­uid as pos­si­ble; you should have about 1½ cups strained sauce. (If nec­es­sary, re­turn sauce to pot and con­tinue to boil un­til re­duced to 1½ cups.) Dis­card solids. Sea­son sauce with salt and pep­per to taste.

Re­move twine from roasts, slice meat against grain into ½-inch-thick slices, and trans­fer to a serv­ing dish. Spoon on half the sauce; pass re­main­ing sauce at the ta­ble. Serves 6.

Be ready to pass the gravy.

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