Name of the dish: Beef roast braised in Zinfandel wine
Beef roast is always a great choice for weekend family dinner. This one pot recipe is ideal for winter and has Australian origin. Beef roast might sound simple but this is a gourmet dish. The beef is cooked and served with a rich sauce made of vegetables, herbs and wine making it irresistible. The beef has to be braised tender for hours and the sauce has to be carefully prepared to extract all the flavors.
Complexity level: Medium
Time taken: 3 hours and 45 minutes (preparation – 15 minutes; cooking 3 hours and 30 minutes)
- Chuck roast – 3-1/2 pounds (boneless)
- Pancetta – 4 oz (1/4 inch cubes)
- Onions – 2 cups chopped
- Celery – 1 cup chopped
- Carrot – 1 cup chopped
- Tomato paste – 1 tbsp
- Tomato – 14-1/2 oz (canned and chopped)
- Garlic – 1 tbsp minced
- Zinfandel wine – 750 ml
- Rosemary – 1 tsp
- Oregano – 1 tbsp
1. Trim the chuck roast with some fat on to keep the roast moist while braising. Set aside after salting it.
2. Chop the onions, carrot and celery. Drain the tomatoes and dice them. Mince the garlic and pass it through a garlic strainer. Dice the pancetta into 1/4 inch cubes.
3. Heat a pot with heavy lid or a Dutch oven with little water. Add the pancetta. Once the water starts to simmer, cook in low heat till the pancetta starts becoming crisp. The water is essential to render the fat without charring or burning the pancetta. When the pancetta turns crisp and brown, remove it and set it aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
5. Take the beef and remove the excess water using a paper towel. Heat the pot in high flame and brown all the sides of the beef.
6. Add the chopped onions, celery and carrot to the pot. Add salt and saute in high-medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add tomato paste and cook in medium heat for a minute or two. Then, add garlic and saute.
8. Turn the heat to high and add the diced tomatoes, pancetta, herbs and wine.
9. Place beef, well covered in the middle of the pot. Remove the pot from high heat and move it into the preheated oven.
10. Cook for 3 hours. Turn over the beef half way to ensure even cooking.
11. Take out the pot and transfer the beef into a foil covered bowl.
12. The remaining sauce or liquid has to be concentrated. Using a stick blender or whisk, mix the liquid well. Mash the vegetables well. Boil the sauce till it reduces to 3-1/2 cups. Strain the sauce and again boil till it reduces to 1-1/2 cups.
13. Add salt and pepper to the sauce.
14. Slice the meat to 1/2 inch thickness. Pour the sauce over it and serve hot.
- Zinfandel wine can be substituted with Cabernet sauvignon.
- Trim the chuck roast fat but do not remove it completely.
- Pancetta has to be roasted carefully in low heat as it chars easily.
- Concentrate the sauce in medium heat to avoid burning.
- Strain the sauce well and press the vegetables well to extract every bit of flavor.