Beef in Barolo: A holiday pot roast from northern Italy
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.