There is no doubt that every family could benefit from the addition of a wine connoisseur. In our case, we are lucky to have our brother in law, Ian Cook who owns Five Way Cellars in Paddington, Sydney. Cookie is a highly respected expert in all aspects of wine and this is very handy when one comes across recipes which call for extremely expensive foreign wines. The famous Barolo from the Piedmont region in Italy is the basis for the delicious ‘Brastato al Barolo’ but Cookie has such a huge knowledge base that he can immediately recommend that for this recipe use Nebbiolo or a good old Shiraz and save the Barolo for drinking. Excellent advice, gladly followed.
So here is my quicker, less expensive (but still delicious on a freezing Blayney night) version ……
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 150 C. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a fry pan and brown the beef well, over medium-high heat being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer beef to large casserole dish (or in my case, le Crueset pot). Brown the potatoes and parsnip and add to the beef. Reduce heat to medium, add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 6 minutes. Add pancetta stirring until combined and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and Worcestershire and stir. Add everything back to the pot containing beef then add the stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, cover tightly with lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Set pot in oven and cook, for about 3 hours or transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the meat is very tender.
I can’t think of anything better to serve this with than mash or polenta with parmesan tossed through. Apparently, the Italians also fancy a few steamed carrots as well. And then of course there is the bottle of Barolo that we didn’t use in the cooking……
- 1.5 to 1.8 kg boneless chuck steak
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 small potatoes, halved
- 2 parsnips peeled and sliced
- 2 medium onions, chopped or 6 spring onions
- 2 medium carrots, chopped medium
- 2 medium celery ribs, chopped medium
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 120g pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and cooked until crispy.
- 2 cups of red wine
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cups beef stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained.