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Sliced Italian pot roast

Italian Pot Roast in Barolo Wine for Sunday Dinner

Italian Pot Roast in  Barolo Wine for Sunday Dinner

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blog Italian Pot Roast in Barolo Wine 

The most moist and flavorful pot roast is Italian  – and easy to make! Try it for a special Sunday dinner.

Try Italian Pot Roast in Barolo Wine for YOUR Sunday Dinner! 

“Do Italians really make pot roast?” I am happy to share not only that Italians do  make pot roast, but also that Italian-style pot roast is the most moist and flavorful pot roast I’ve ever tasted!

When I lived in San Francisco, I discovered the wonderful way that Northern Italians from the Lombardy region have with pot roast. They braise their pot roast slowly, under low heat for many hours, with a full-bodied northern Italian red wine called Barolo wine. With this method, the  meat becomes melt-in-your mouth soft and delicious. If you can’t find the Barolo wine that is typical of northern Italy, Barbera wine or any hearty Italian red wine will do.

I’ve been making Italian pot roast in red wine for many years now, usually as a special treat for Sunday dinners with my family.  The nice thing about the Italian red wine method is that the meat is even more flavorful if reheated; and with this in mind, the dish is traditionally is prepared the day before serving.  Cook the meat until it is almost done and then reheat and finish in about an hour’s time for your special dinner the next day. And don’t worry – there is virtually no way to over-cook pot roast with this method!

For the Italian Pot Roast recipe below, you will need a 3 lb. top round or rump round cut of beef.  Ask your butcher to tie your meat  with butchers twine so the roast will stay intact as it cooks. Or, if you’d like to try to tie the meat yourself, click on the link to a master chef’s video from  Le Cordon Bleu.

The recipe below also calls for “larding” the meat.  This is an old method, whereby salt pork is inserted into tough cuts of meat to yield more tenderness and flavor.  Now-a-days, salt pork can be hard to find.  And, although larding is not absolutely necessary, I find that when I use a minimally processed bacon fat – no smoke, salt, or other flavorings added – this little bit of added fat does seem to help keep the roast moist during the long braising time.  I have provided below a simple method for larding meat with kitchen utensils found in most homes.  If you are interested in a special larding gadget, and watching the larding process in real time, click on this video: Tescoma Presto Larding Needle.

Of course, you may add a vegetable side dish (contorno) to your pot roast meal. Northern Italy is the home of polenta, which would make a wonderful accompaniment.  Small, boiled potatoes and cut carrots are also nice to frame your roast when you present it on a serving dish.

And don’t throw away the vegetables that have been braising with the roast – those onions, carrots and celery may have an unappealing brownish color, but they will also have developed a wonderful sweetness.  Serve as a garnish to top the pot roast slices when they are plated.  Ladle the finished slices with the warm pot roast juices and enjoy!  Kathryn Occhipinti


Italian Pot Roast in Barolo Wine 

Italian pot roast
Italian pot roast with potatoes and carrots

 

Ingredients
            For the Pot Roast:           

1 (3 lb.) top round of beef,  tied with butcher’s twine
6 strips natural, uncured, unsalted bacon
1-2 large cloves of garlic,
with the second clove sliced lengthwise into several thin slices
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole, dried clove
1 onion, chopped coarsely
3 carrots, sliced diagonally into thick slices
2 stalks of celery, sliced diagonally into thick slices
1 cup Barolo wine, Barbera wine, or any full-bodied Italian red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste

Ingredients
     For the Vegetable Garnish

1 lb. of small red or yellow potatoes
1 lb. of carrots, cut into serving pieces
Fresh parsley

 

Method

Prepare the meat and vegetables:

Prepare your top round or rump round meat by rinsing, patting dry, and then tying with butcher’s twine, if the butcher has not already done this for you.

Pot roast Italian style
Top round cut tied with butchers twine

Lard the  meat by making a holes lengthwise through the roast and then pushing a strip of fat from the bacon through each hole.  One of my steel barbecue skewers cuts through the meat nicely and makes a hole about the right size.  I use my fingers and if necessary my knife sharpener or the dowel of a wooden spoon to push the fat through.  A special larding device, of course, does the job easily and quickly (see above discussion for the link).

Rub the meat all over with the garlic.  If you like, make additional small cuts with a paring knife and insert small slices of garlic into the meat as well.

Pot roast larded with garlic
The top round is turned on its end and larded. Small pieces of garlic have been inserted as well.

Cut up your vegetables so all is ready to go before you start to cook.

Pot roast with vegetables
Top round tied, larded, and surrounded by chopped vegetables ready for the pot.

 

Cook your pot roast:

Heat the butter and oil together under low heat in a deep, heavy pan. Use an oven-proof pan or pot if you have one.  (Or, you can transfer to a pot suitable for the oven later.)

When the butter has melted, add the pot roast and brown the meat under medium heat, turning the meat with tongs so that each side browns nicely.

After the meat has browned completely, add the clove, onions, carrots, and celery and the wine, with 1 cup of water.

If you are making this dish on the stove top, cover and cook slowly under low to medium heat, so the liquid is kept at a simmer.

 -or –

If you have an oven proof pan, I find it easier to transfer the pan to the oven and cook at 325°.  If you do not have an oven-proof pan, you can move the pot roast from the pan into a pot, but then be sure to scrape the bottom of the original pan with a wooden spoon so the liquid contains all of the the good-tasting browned pieces from the bottom. Then pour the liquid over the pot roast.

The pot roast should cook gently for 3 hours.  During that time, every 30 minutes or so, uncover briefly, turn the pot roast gently, and baste it in its juices.

After 3 hours, add the tomato paste diluted in 1/2 cup of water.  You may need to add additional water to the pot if some has evaporated and the juices become too thick.

Continue cooking and braising as above for another 2 hours.

The cooking process can be stopped at this time.  The meat should be tender enough to flake easily when tested with a fork along one of the corners.  If not, continue to cook for an additional hour or so.

When the meat is done cooking, it is traditional to leave the meat in the pot with the juices and cooking vegetables until the next day and then reheat an additional 30 minutes to an hour or so before serving.  (Refrigerate the pot roast until ready to cook for this final hour.)

While the pot roast is reheating, prepare your favorite vegetable to go with the meal.  Polenta, small potatoes and boiled or glazed cut carrots look nice surrounding the pot roast, but any favorite vegetable is fine.

Serve your pot roast:

Sliced Italian pot roast
Italian pot roast sliced and ready to serve

When ready to serve, take the pot roast out of its cooking pan and place in the center of a platter.  Remove the twine and cut into slices – either before presenting at the table or after.

Strain the pan juices, and reserve the vegetables to place around the pot roast. They will look brown but should still have some shape and will taste very sweet.

Drizzle some of the pan juices over the pot roast and reserve the rest to serve in a gravy boat.

Surround your pot roast with prepared vegetables of your choice for the final presentation.  Serve and enjoy!

Kathryn Occhipinti

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blog

Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, is the author of the
Conversational Italian for Travelers
 series of books and a teacher of Italian for travelers to Italy in the Peoria and Chicago area.
“Everything you need to know to enjoy your visit to Italy!”

Join my Conversational Italian! Facebook group and follow me on Twitter at StellaLucente@travelitalian1 and start to learn Italian today for FREE!
Conversational Italian! Facebook Group
Tweet Stella Lucente Italian

YouTube videos to learn Italian are available from © Stella Lucente, LLC.
YouTube Stella Lucente Italian, LLC

More information on and photographs of Italy can be found on Facebook Stella Lucente Italian and Pinterest Stella Lucente Italian.
Facebook Stella Lucente Italian

Pinterest Stella Lucente Italian

Visit learntravelitalian.com/download.html to purchase/download Conversational Italian for Travelers and find more interesting facts and helpful hints about getting around Italy! Learn how to buy train tickets online, how to make international and local telephone calls, and how to decipher Italian coffee names and restaurant menus, all while gaining the basic understanding of Italian that you will need to know to communicate easily and effectively while in Italy. —From the staff at Stella Lucente, LLC

Italian Pot Roast in Barolo Wine

Recipe for Italian Sauce - Bolognese Meat Sauce with Pasta

Italian Sauce Recipe: Authentic Family-Style Bolognese Meat Sauce

Italian Sauce Recipe: Authentic Family-Style Bolognese Meat Sauce

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blog Pasta alla Bolognese—pasta with everybody’s favorite meat sauce! And so easy to make… in one pot!

Italian Sauce Recipe: Bolognese Meat Ragù

This famous Italian sauce from the city of Bologna is actually a “ragù” (similar to the French “ragout”) because all of the ingredients are gradually combined and then simmered in a large saucepan for hours, until the flavors have beautifully melded and a thick sauce is created. Pair this delicious sauce with thick spaghetti or tubular macaroni that has ridges for the sauce to cling to. For a special dinner, this sauce is wonderful with homemade wide-ribbon pasta, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle. And remember, a little sauce goes a long way in Italy—a generous ladle of sauce on top of a nest of pasta in each plate makes a wonderful meal—top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
—Kathryn Occhipinti


Italian Sauce Recipe: Bolognese Meat Ragù 

Ingredients
(Serves 4 with 1 lb. of pasta)

3 Tbsp butter (plus more to finish sauce at end if desired)
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped pancetta or ¼ cup chopped bacon
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
¾ cup ground beef
¾ cup ground pork
¼ cup ground Italian sausage (about 1 sausage removed from casing)
¾ cup dry white wine
1½ cups beef stock
4 tsp tomato paste
¼ cup whipping cream

Optional:
¼ lb. cremini mushrooms, quartered and sautéed in 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter

Procedure

Heat 3 Tbsp of butter with 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the finely chopped onion, celery, and carrot, and cook with a pinch of salt until vegetables have softened.

Add the chopped pancetta or bacon and cook to render out the fat. Remove meaty parts of bacon.

Add the ground beef, ground pork, and Italian sausage meat, and stir with a wooden spoon to break up meat as it browns.

Add dry white wine and raise heat to high to boil off.

Mix a little of the beef stock with the tomato paste to thin, and then stir into the skillet with the other ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add ¼ cup of the beef stock and cover the skillet.

Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 1 to 1½ hours, stirring intermittently and adding more stock gradually to keep the meat moist.

All the ingredients should come together to form a gravy-like sauce, or ragù.

Optional:  While the meat ragù is cooking, quarter and sauté the mushrooms in a separate small frying pan in 1 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp olive oil and reserve.

To complete the sauce, remove the ragù from the heat, stir in the mushrooms and their juices, and then stir in the whipping cream.

Add additional tablespoons of cream and 1–2 Tbsp of butter as desired.

Serve immediately, with a generous ladle of sauce in the center of each plate of pasta.

(Leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator or for longer periods in the freezer. Add a little water to the sauce as needed and reheat over low heat.)

—Adapted from the cooking classes given by the Italian-American Society of Peoria, by Kathryn Occhipinti

Best Kathy Twitter Pic edited for blog

Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, is the author of the
Conversational Italian for Travelers
 series of books and a teacher of Italian for travelers to Italy in the Peoria and Chicago area.
“Everything you need to know to enjoy your visit to Italy!”

Join my Conversational Italian! Facebook group and follow me on Twitter at StellaLucente@travelitalian1 and start to learn Italian today for FREE!
Conversational Italian! Facebook Group
Tweet Stella Lucente Italian

YouTube videos to learn Italian are available from © Stella Lucente, LLC.
YouTube Stella Lucente Italian, LLC

More information on and photographs of Italy can be found on Facebook Stella Lucente Italian and Pinterest Stella Lucente Italian.
Facebook Stella Lucente Italian

Pinterest Stella Lucente Italian

Visit learntravelitalian.com/download.html to purchase/download Conversational Italian for Travelers and find more interesting facts and helpful hints about getting around Italy! Learn how to buy train tickets online, how to make international and local telephone calls, and how to decipher Italian coffee names and restaurant menus, all while gaining the basic understanding of Italian that you will need to know to communicate easily and effectively while in Italy. —From the staff at Stella Lucente, LLC

Italian Sauce Recipe: Authentic Family-Style Bolognese Meat Sauce