This Italian recipe features the classic pairing of red wine with beef. A juicy stewing cut, such as chuck or top round, is slowly roasted in the casserole pot with wine and a few seasonings until tender. The added vegetables make this a complete meal. The flavor only gets better with time, so cook ahead, if you prefer, and store up to three days in the refrigerator before serving.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 cup (1/4-inch) cubed pancetta (about 4 ounces)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups Chianti
1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
3 sprigs fresh basil
3 sprigs fresh marjoram
1 bay leaf
4 carrots, peeled and diagonally cut into (3/8-inch-thick) slices (about 12 ounces)
6 parsnips, peeled and diagonally cut into (3/8-inch-thick) slices (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, and cloves, stirring well. Make several small slits on outside of roast with a paring knife; stuff with pancetta and garlic slices. Roll roast; secure at 1-inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle roast with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat surface of roast with flour mixture, patting with your hands so it adheres.
Heat oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add roast to pan; cook 15 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add onion to pan around roast; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in wine and broth. Place basil, marjoram, and bay leaf on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cloth together; tie securely. Add cheesecloth bag to pan; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours, turning roast every 45 minutes. Nestle carrots and parsnips in pan; cook 1 hour or until roast is tender enough to cut with a spoon.
Transfer roast and vegetables to a platter. Discard twine; keep beef warm. Strain wine mixture through a sieve into a large bowl; discard cheesecloth bag. Return wine mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes. Combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.
Wine note: Pinot noir is a nice match for this classic casserole because the dish incorporates many flavors found in pinot (cinnamon, cloves, meat, black pepper, bay), plus the wine's hint of cherry is a sumptuous contrast to the savoriness of all those slow-cooked beefy flavors. A favorite pinot: Cambria "Julia's Vineyard" Pinot Noir 2006 ($24) from California's Santa Maria Valley. —Karen MacNeil
Absolutely fantastic. We made this with no alterations to the recipe and found the flavors to be just right (the clove and cinnamon really add to the dish). We did use fresh bay leaves, but left everything else as-is.
For a delicious accompaniment, I made a creamy fontina polenta to serve the beef over: Get one or two of the pre-prepared polenta tubes at the grocery store, microwave them until warm (out of the wrapper, of course), toss 1/2 cup or so of good-quality fontina (preferably fairly firm) into a food processor and process until coarsely ground, add the polenta (cut into cubes) and process - adding cream and beef broth until it reaches a smooth consistency, then warm in a saucepan to melt the cheese and meld flavors, add salt and pepper to taste.
Made this roast with a rolled cross rib roast....less fat....made just as recipe called...except used fresh ground cinnamon and cloves..wow what a bang using just made spices...The vegetables together rocked. I seared the studded meat until nicely browned..I too didn't need all the garlic and pancetta..but surley wasn't going to toss them...so added the extras to the cooking pot...A crock pot..cooked on low for maybe 6 hours, then added the sliced veggies, cooked another 2 hours...added the cornstarch mixture uped it to high, cooked 10-15 min. until thickend....I served it over pasta...My Italian hubby loved it sooooo much...Said it was better than his mom made...and THATS saying alot for an Italian...He said pass on the cornmeal...the word is PASTA..
I just made this last weekend and pretty much followed the recipe to a tee and it was amazing! This is now one of my favorites for the fall/winter months. It did take a long time but it's well worth it. The only thing I changed was that I used a Merlot instead of a Chianti. I served with some corn bread and some red wine. Love this recipe!!!
The cut of meat I got was impossible to roll, so I didn't. I substituted bacon for the pancetta and potatoes for the parsnips. I increased the temp by 25 degrees and cut the cooking time by an hour. The meat was tender and delicious. It reminded me of the pot roast my mother used to make when I was a kid. We ate dinner for 2 nights off this dish. There is a little more time and effort involved but I think it was worth it. Definitely a great winter weekend meal.
My family loved this recipe! I used rutabagas instead of parsnips and an elk roast, which cut down on the fat of the chuck roast. The pancetta added a great flavor, a little extra effort but worth it. What a nice change from regular pot roast!
Ugh. Wayyyyyyyyy too much effort for mediocre results. If I were to make it again (Don't plan to), I would add potatoes (turnips aren't that great) and use a slow cooker. It took forever to get the veggies cooked and I even cut the sizes in half of what they suggested. Are they supposed to be raw-like? eeeew.
My husband hates it when I try new dishes out on company but we had no complaints with this one! The make ahead factor was helpful when getting ready for guests as it is a meal all in one pan. I did not roll the beef and found that I needed only a fraction of the pancetta and garlic called for. The results were flavorful and tender. I served this over whipped cauliflower. I loved the hint of cinnamon flavor of the finished product. We'll be having this again!
After buying a bunch of the ingredients for this dish just to make it, and spending a lot of time in the kitchen to prepare it, I was very disappointed. Boneless chuck roast is gross-so fatty, and the whole dish was a tasteless. NOT worth the time, would not make again. The disclaimer is I'm not a big "hunk of meat" person, but I think even if you were this would not be the recipe to choose.
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