Beef in Barolo

Brasato al Barolo

Piemonte

If you cook this properly, keeping the heat so low that the liquid around the meat barely moves, you will end up with meat that is so tender you could cut it with a spoon. If you want to use a cheaper joint than rump, such as silverside, for example, you’ll probably find it is even richer in flavour.

900 g (2Ib) lean rump joint 5 tablespoons olive oil
50 g (2 oz) pork fat, cut into thin strips I tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 onion, sliced
I teaspoon chopped fresh sage 2 carrot, sliced
½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 2 celery stick, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 dried bay leaves
salt and freshly milled black pepper 3-4 small sprigs of fresh parsley
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg I bottle of good Barolo
2 or 3 cloves 5 tablespoons plain white flour

SERVES 6

  1. Pierce the join all over with a thick skewer and insert strips of fat wherever possible deep into the meat. Chop 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 stick of celary and put into a large bowl with the beef, then pour the red wine over and leave over night to marinate.
  2. Mix together the chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and garlic. Add plenty of salt and pepper, then mix in the spices and about half the flour.
  3. Heat the oil and butter together in a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish, add the onion and let it sizzle gently for a few minutes. Meanwhile, roll the meat in the spice mixture, lay it gently on top of the frying onion. Add the carrot, celery, bay leaves and parsley sprigs. Seal the meat all over.
  4. Remove it from the casserole. Drain any excess fat from the casserole. Add the remaining flour and mix it into the other ingredients to make a smooth paste. Pour in about a glass full of Barolo and stir thoroughly. Allow the alcohol to boil off for about 2 minutes, return the meat to the casserole. Turn it over several times, pour the remaining Barolo over the joint and cover tightly. Continue to simmer very gently for about 4 hours, turning the joint over occasionally.

When the meat is tender, remove it from the casserole and push the sauce through a food mill or sieve. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Slice the meat thickly on to a warmed serving platter, cover with the sauce and serve at once.

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