Beef Braised in Red Wine
An Italian wedding is a magnificent occasion. After the bride has walked to the church followed by the village in procession, the couple marry and make their way to the wedding breakfast. And what a feast! As many as 20 courses, lasting the entire afternoon. Some courses would be only a few items on the plate such as salami and bread, fried fish, green salads or a small sorbet, but there would also be bowls of fresh pasta, braised meat and crème pâtissière filled desserts. All washed down with jugs of complimentary red and white wine.
This recipe of Stracotto di Manzo reminds me of those weddings. The cut used is stewing steak, which means that it is more cost-effective and of course the red wine in the region is plentiful. But do not be fooled, it tastes first class and is fit for any special occasion!
3 tbsp olive oil * 2 onions, finely sliced * 2 garlic cloves, chopped * 1 kg (2lb 3oz) stewing steak, cut into strips or chunks * 2 heaped tbsp plain flour * 310ml (10 floz) red wine * 1 fresh sage sprig * 1 fresh thyme sprig * 250ml (8 floz) beef stock * 395g (14oz) passata * salt & freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Fry the onions and garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Stir frequently, until soft and brown then transfer to a casserole dish. Fry the steak in the remaining oil until brown all over. Sprinkle in the flour with a little of the stock in the pan and stir well to prevent lumps. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine, stirring constantly and bring to the boil.
Carefully turn the contents of the pan into the casserole dish. Add the sage, thyme, rest of the stock and the passata. Cover and cook in the oven for 2½-3 hours. Remove from the oven and discard the sage and thyme, taste and season if necessary. Serve immediately with some green vegetables and potatoes.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.