This recipe is a real family favourite and I have lost count of the number of friends to whom I have passed on the recipe. My Mum found the recipe in a magazine she bought at the airport and it’s one of those recipes ideal for entertaining as it is prepared in advance leaving the host or hostess relaxed to greet and entertain their guests.
I wasn’t doing any major entertaining, but had bought some brisket at the Farm shop and my SIL was coming for the weekend, so I thought it was a good excuse to make this recipe again.
Beef in Barolo Wine
2lb (1kg) boneless braising beef in one piece (I used brisket)
1 bottle tannic red wine, preferably Barolo or Barbera (I’ve never used either of these as they are just too good to cook with! I had a bottle of ‘the full 15’ Australian Red which is way to potent for me to drink these days, it worked perfectly)
2fl oz (60ml) brandy
4 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots cut into thin rounds
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
3 ribs celery, cut into thin slices
1 5 inch sprig rosemary
1 tsp whole black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 medium onions, peeled and halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a 5 1/4 pint (3 ltr) heavy flameproof casserole with a lid, combine the beef, wine, brandy, 4 tbsp of the olive oil, the carrots, the bay leaves, celery, rosemary, crushed peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Stick a clove into each of the onion halves and add to the casserole. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Turn the meat form time to time.
2. At least 2 hours before cooking the meat, remove the casserole from the refrigerator to bring the mat to room temperature.
3. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Pour the marinade into another container and reserve. Rinse and dry the casserole. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the casserole and heat the oil over a moderately high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the beef and brown evenly on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper., Add the marinade to the casserole. Bring just to a simmer, then reduce heat to very low and cover. Simmer gently until the beef is fork tender, about 3 hours. Turn the meat from time to time, and do not let much of the liquid evaporate. You should have about 8 fl oz (250ml)of liquid remaining for the sauce.
4. To serve: transfer the beef to a carving board. Cut the beef against the grain into thick slices and transfer the slices, slightly overlapping them, to a warmed serving dish. Cover with foil and keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-meshed sieve and discard the solids. Return the liquid to the casserole, taste for seasoning and, if necessary, boil until reduced to 8 fl oz (250ml) Spoon the sauce over the beef and serve immediately
Alternatively the beef may be sliced and refrigerated for one more day long with the sauce. Simply reheat at serving time.
The meat is delicious and tender and also very good served cold with salad and baked potatoes.