When I saw this recipe posted on Beantown Baker, I immediately bookmarked it for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, Judah was very sick that day and didn’t let me accomplish one thing in the kitchen, so we had romantic take-out instead. But, I was able to make it the day after so all was well. And, very well indeed because this dish is super delicious! Really, the photo definitely does not do it justice. (I have a very hard time taking photos of meat!)
I neglected to notice that the recipe called for more than one bottle of wine. There was no way I was running back out, but luckily for me I also didn’t buy as much meat, either. So, one bottle worked perfectly for my 2.3 lb roast. Instead of six servings, it made four, which is a much better portion for the two of us.
While the meat was roasting, I was in much anticipation just from the aroma it was leaving in our house. At my first bite, the meat was bursting with cinnamon flavor, yet not so powerful that it was a turn-off. Ben declared this as one of his favorite meals.
I didn’t have fresh rosemary on hand, and just ended up using some dried Italian seasoning instead. It worked perfectly. Plus, the bottle of wine I used was the cheap “two-buck Chuck” Merlot from Trader Joe’s. (I love that it really is only $2.00 now that we live in California. It was $3.00 in Illinois.) Honestly, you don’t need to use anything more expensive. Save your money. We loved it!
Beef Braised in Red Wine
Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (2.5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, rinsed and patted dry
3 ounces pancetta, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 medium carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bottle (3 1/2 cups) dry red wine (e.g., Cabernet, Merlot, etc.)
2 cups chicken stock
2 springs rosemary (or 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning)
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
Rub salt and pepper into both sides of the meat. Using a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat in Dutch oven on all sides for 2-3 minutes each. Remove from the pot and set aside.
To the fat in the pan, add the pancetta and saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery and pinch of salt. Saute until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Return the beef to the pan and pour in the wine and chicken stock. Add the bay leaves, rosemary (or Italian seasoning) along with the cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover tightly and transfer the pot to the oven.
Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning roast every 30 minutes, until meat is fully tender and is starting to fall apart at the touch of a fork. Transfer the meat to a heat-proof serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, remove the rosemary, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick and place the pot over high heat. Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the sauce into a small bowl and mix with the cornstarch until fully incorporated. Slowly stir the 1/2 cup sauce and cornstarch mixture back into the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Uncover the meat and cut against the grain into thin slices. Pour the thickened sauce over the meat on the platter and serve.