Sunday, May 15, 2011

#36 - Brasato al Barolo

For our wedding, the Wilkinses gave us this really nice Dutch oven from Mario Batali. We used it once already - to help us make the cajeta from those yummy cupcakes, but today, we made something from the mini cookbook that came with the big pot. The little book had a few recipes, and one of them was these braised short ribs.

Brasato al Barolo

From Mario Batali
The recipe is called Brasato al Barolo - braised in Barolo. We had never heard of Barolo, and after some research, we discovered that it is known as "the wine of kings, the king of wines."

Well, we didn't think splurging on a regal wine to be used for cooking sounded like a good idea, especially for our first attempt. And besides, the Wheaton beer and wine store didn't have any. Surprise. So we swapped that out with an Italian Pinot noir.
We talked about the Barolo, now it's time to talk about the Brasato. What we're braising is beef short ribs.
While the ribs were browning in olive oil, (watch out for extremely painful splattering) we chopped the vegetables and pancetta. It wouldn't be a Hungry Hundred recipe without pancetta.
After the ribs brown, it's time to brown the vegetables. Once those are browned, you add in the wine and tomato sauce. We had made a batch of our own tomato sauce for this, but like we said with the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe, use what you have / want.
Then, once everything is all together, just let it cook for a couple hours, and you're done. Slow and steady wins the braise.
This recipe came out great. Cooking the meat low and slow really made it flavorful and tender. We realized, though, that we should have made something to go with the ribs, like rice or polenta - all we had around the house was frozen French Fries.
Go out and buy yourself the wine of kings and you can eat like one too:
  • 6 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs, cut into 3-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large Spanish onions, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into thick slices
  • 4 oz pancetta, diced
  • 2 cups Barolo or other hearty red wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking.
  2. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Making sure not to overcrowd the pot, brown the meat in the olive oil, turning frequently until dark golden brown, about 10-12 minutes per batch.
  4. Transfer the meat to a plate, and set aside.
  5. Pour the excess oil out of the pot, and add the onions, carrots, celery, and pancetta.
  6. Cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables turn light brown and begin to soften.
  7. Add the wine and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the meat and bring back to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer.
  9. Cook until the meat is very tender, 1 1/2-2 hours.
  10. Transfer the meat to a plate, and bring the cooking liquid to a boil.
  11. Reduce the liquid to about 2 1/2 cups, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the meat.

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