I know, I know. I suck. Not having posted a thing since October is terrible. But, sometimes life gets in the way, holidays, etc. etc. But, I am back! This year, I wanted to do something that I had read about a year ago, it was a group of people who chose a cook book and did a recipe or two from it. I really can’t remember the fundamentals, but at home I decided it would be a great way to expand my knowledge, and to actually crack open my cook books and magazines. It also think it will be quite fun because it’s a great way to involve the whole family. My way of doing it is this: Every month, one of us chooses a cookbook. I chose this months, “Italy – The Beautiful Cookbook”. Then, we choose 9 recipes, 3 recipes each, to make in one month. Obviously, I am going to try to stay true to the ingredients, but will omit or swap some ingredients that I simply can’t find here.
So, today is one of my recipe choices, only because its Sunday and it is a time-consuming recipe, the beef has to marinate overnight. I chose this recipe because the picture in the book looked divine and the ingredients were promising. This recipe hails from Piedmont, a northern region in Italy bordering France, so I am not surprised that it is basically like a Beef Bourguignon, but with Barolo wine and different herbs and spices. That suits me just fine, I basically kind of wanted something heart and belly warming since I am sure we all can agree that this is one helluva cold winter! This dish is simply delicious. As the beef is cooking, your house will smell incredible, really mouthwatering. I could hardly wait until the beef was done! Rich and complex, it is a perfect sunday lunch meal. I am absolutely positive it will become a favorite of yours too….my family devoured it!
So here’s what you’re going to need:
2lb (1kg) braising beef (I used eye of round)
2 carrots, cut into several pieces each
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, cut into several pieces
1/2 cup parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp juniper berries (which I didn’t find)
1/2 cup diced lard
1/2 bottle aged Barolo wine (or any other full bodied red you have on hand, I used Rioja)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Combine the meat, all the vegetables, the herbs, and the wine in a large bowl. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
Remove the meat and dry well; reserve marinade. Make little cuts on the surface of the meat and fill them with lard. Brown the meat thoroughly in the butter and oil in a flame proof casserole. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Lift out the marinade vegetables with a slotted spoon and add to the meat. Add 1 cup of the wine and salt to taste. ( I added all the wine from the marinade). Cover and braise in the oven for about 3 hours, adding more wine as needed to keep meat from drying out. Halfway through the cooking time, take out the meat, slice thinly, and put back into the wine, with any juice on the cutting board.
Remove meat when done and place on a platter. Put the vegetables and wine through a food mill or grind to a textured purée in a food processor. Reheat this and pour over the meat. Serve at once, with potatoes, but I chose polenta.
From my kitchen to yours,