Beef Braised in red wine.

Oh bloody hell, will it ever stop raining? And now we have gale force winds in Devon too.  Time for some hearty comfort food; slow cooked beef in gallons of wine, mmm.

This is a Carluccio recipe and there are two vital rules to remember when making it. One – the meat has to marinate overnight for at least 12 hours. Two – you have to use good wine, cheap wine will make the dish taste bitter and nasty. I used Barolo.  I also tied up the beef with kitchen string to hold it together during the slow cooking. The dish takes about two hours on a low heat on the stove but double the time in my temperamental AGA. I also reduced the wine sauce down after I removed it from the oven while the meat rested under foil. Serve with lashings of mash potato and another bottle of wine. Enjoy.

Ingredients

1kg/2lb 4oz      topside of beef

2                      garlic cloves

2                      bay leaves

2                      sprigs rosemary

8                      black peppercorns

1                      large onion, finely chopped

3                      carrots, peeled and finely chopped

2                      celery stalks, finely chopped

1                      bottle red wine, a good one

6 tbsp              extra virgin olive oil

salt,                  to taste

Pat the meat all over gently with kitchen paper to dry. Place in a large bowl together with all the other ingredients except for the oil and salt. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 12 hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade, keeping the marinade for later. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan, add the meat and brown it well all over. Remove and set aside.

In the same saucepan, add the vegetables and herbs from the marinade and sauté for a couple of minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add some salt and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the wine from the marinade, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for about two hours, (I transferred it into a stoneware pot and it took longer in the bottom oven of my AGA, 4 hours) until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced, checking from time to time and gently turning over during cooking.

Season with salt. To serve, remove the meat, slice and place on a serving dish together with the loads of mash potato.

Cantine marchesi di barolo, barolo, italy

Cantine marchesi di barolo, barolo, italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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