Beef Braised in Amarone (Brasato all'Amarone)
This recipe was a specialty of Trattoria Dalla Rosa Alda located in the Valpolicella region.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 (750-ml) bottle young amarone
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and finely diced
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 1 medium bulb celery root, peeled, trimmed, and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 branch each fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage and 2 bay leaves, tied together with kitchen twine
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 (4-lb.) boneless cross-rib pot roast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups vegetable or meat stock
- 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Set 1⁄4 cup of the wine aside and pour remaining wine into a large heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add onions, carrots, celery, celery root, garlic, bundle of herbs, and lemon zest. Generously season meat with salt and pepper and add to pot. Add stock and 1⁄4 cup of the oil and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and braise meat, turning every hour, until very tender, about 4 hours.
- Transfer meat to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil, and set aside. Remove and discard bundle of aromatics from pot. Strain braising broth into a bowl, setting broth and strained vegetable mixture aside separately.
- Heat 1⁄4 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups of the vegetable mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the broth (save remaining vegetable mixture and broth for another use), mash mixture with a potato masher to a paste, and cook until liquid evaporates, 6-8 minutes. Add reserved wine and cook, stirring, until wine evaporates, 1-2 minutes. Add remaining oil and cook until sauce darkens and begins to fry, 5-6 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice meat and serve with sauce spooned on top. Garnish each serving with a slice of grilled polenta , a piece of broiled carrot, and a fresh bay leaf, if you like.