Monday, March 4, 2013

Italian Pot Roast (Stracotto di Manzo)

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Can you believe it's March already?  Time for winter recipes to get rushed through.  Believe it or not, gardens and fresh vegetables will be the order of the day.  And nothing is as warming to the soul (and the kitchen) as a nice pot roast simmering on the stove top (or baking in the oven).

This recipe has a wonderful Italian twist.  The now legendary Soffritto mixture of Onions, Carrots, Celery and a few other items becomes the base the roast sits on while braising and with some bacon becomes a side dish/garnish for the sliced meat.  It also flavors the liquid, adding moisture, tenderness and flavoring making this just a tad more delicious than my recipe for Yankee Pot Roast!

The recipe, combined with proper cooking technique (primarily using an instant read meat thermometer so the meat does not over cook and dry out) is simply ideal for a Sunday afternoon meal and lots of delicious sandwiches for the next few days!

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...

Here's what I did...

Italian Pot Roast 
(Stracotto di Manzo)

  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, minced (for the Soffritto)
  • 1 Large Carrot, minced (for the Soffritto)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, minced (for the Soffritto)
  • 1 handfull Parsley, Chopped fine (for the Soffritto)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced (for the Soffritto
  • 1/2 Pound Thick Cut Bacon, Diced size of a quarter
  • 1/2 Cup Shiitaki Mushrooms,diced
  • 2 Cups Beef Stock (can substitute Chicken Stock)
  • 3 Cups Dry red Wine
  • 2 TBS Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 2 TBS Fresh Sage, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Small Cans Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 - Four (4) Pound Chuck Roast
  • Salt And Pepper For Crust
  • Optional, 4 Large Russet Potatoes, Sliced
  • Optional, 4 Large Carrots, Sliced Lengthwise
  • Optional, 2 Large Onions, Quartered
Cooking Directions
  1. First, Make a Soffritto, in a large heavy bottomed saute pan, heat the Olive Oil over medium heat. Once Hot, add the Onions, Carrots and Celery and saute for 5 minutes until the onions have softened and turned translucent.
  2. Add the Parsley, Garlic and Bacon and continue to saute for another few minutes until the bacon has started to cook through but not yet browned to crispness.
  3. Add the mushrooms and mix. Remove from pan, leaving the bacon drippings.
  4. In a LARGE Dutch Oven, pour in the stock and wine and mix. Add 1/2 of the Soffritto (the sauteed vegetables) to the liquid. Add the Spices and salt and pepper.
  5. Liberally salt and pepper all sides of the roast. Brown all sides in the hot bacon drippings, about 2 minutes per side depending on how hot the oil is.
  6. Once browned, float the roast in the stock/wine mix, resting on top of the 1/2 batch of Soffritto.
  7. Add the Tomatoes. The liquid should be about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the side of the meat. Add more stock or remove as needed.
  8. Add the optional potatoes, carrots and onions around the side of the meat.
  9. Add the remaining soffritto to the top of the roast.
  10. Cover and cook over stove top on low heat, just enough to get the liquid to gently simmer, or bake in an oven at 250 degrees for about 4 hours.
  11. During the last two hours of cook time, check the internal temperature of the meat with an instant read meat thermometer. Remove from heat when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Once there, remove from liquid and allow to rest on a cutting board for 20 minutes (or up to an hour wrapped in aluminum foil)
  12. Reserve the potatoes, carrots and onions in a separate bowl and reduce heat to keep them warm until ready to serve.
  13. Remove several TBS of the cooked soffritto to use as garnish and topping for the meat.
  14. To make gravy, optional, Skim off any fat from the surface of the liquid. Strain the liquid, pressing on the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and return the strained sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil and let cook uncovered for a few minutes to further reduce and thicken the liquid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  15. Slice the roast and serve with the gravy, soffritto and potatoes, carrots and onions
  16. Serve HOT and ENJOY!!!

Sliced thin, against the grain of the meat and this is fork tender, succulent and amazingly delicious!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


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