Italian-Style Pot Roast with Porcini Mushrooms. Stracotto if we’re speaking Italian.
Vegetarians, look away. Today is all about a big hunk of beef.
Roasts are just the thing when you have to feed a crowd and don’t want to be slaving over the stove while everyone else is having fun.
Pot roasts are even better because they are usually made with a less expensive cut of meat. You won’t break the bank on this one but it will still feel like a meal worth celebrating and sharing.
Porcini mushrooms and red wine lend an Italian flavor to the old standard pot roast. The preparation is easy and the flavors are out of this world.
Here’s what you need:
Chuck Roast, Onions, Garlic, Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Thyme, Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Beef Broth, Red Wine, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Chop 2 onions – about 4 cups. That’s a lot of onions but with the long, slow cooking time used here, they will pretty much all dissolve before the roast is cooked.
While you’re chopping, peel and chop 4-5 cloves of garlic.
I have a HUGE roast here – about 5 pounds. Enough to serve 6-8 people or 4 people with awesome leftovers. When you’re making something like a roast, unless you live alone and hate leftovers, why not make a big one.
Pat your roast dry with paper towels (very important so that the meat browns well) and season with salt & pepper.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium high heat in a large, oven-safe pot or dutch oven and brown the meat on all sides.
Be sure to get a nice brown crust on all 4 sides, not just the top and the bottom. One trick to browning meat well is to leave it alone once you put it in the pan. Give it at least 3-4 minutes to develop this nice browned crust before you start nudging and poking at it.
When the meat has browned nicely, remove it from the pan and add your chopped onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions, stirring frequently, until golden and soft but not browned.
If your pan is dry, feel free to add a Tablespoon more olive oil to help the onions along.
Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in 1 cup of flavorful (dry) red wine such as Cabernet, Shiraz, or Merlot.
Add 1 (15 oz.) can of low sodium beef broth and ½ ounce of dried porcini mushrooms.
My mushrooms came in a 1 oz. package so I used half and saved the rest to make Pork Chops with Porcini Mushrooms, one of my favorite dishes.
Stir the broth to combine all of the ingredients and return the roast to the pan.
Bring the liquids in the pot to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to a preheated 350 degree oven.
Cook the roast until fork tender (almost falling apart), about 3 hours. Turn the roast over halfway through the cooking time so that both sides cook in the sauce.
Once the meat is cooked and tender and the amazing smell is likely running you out of the kitchen, remove the roast from the pan and tent lightly with foil to keep warm. The roast needs to rest so that it slices rather than shreds.
Finely chop the leaves from 1 sprig of fresh rosemary and 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme and add them to the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend all of the pan juices until smooth.
If you don’t have an immersion blender (go add one to your birthday/Chrismtas list), carefully transfer the hot liquid to a traditional blender and blend until smooth. You might have to wait and allow the gravy to settle after using a regular blender as it tends to make things a little foamy.
I’ve never made gravy this way before and let me just tell you, I am hooked! This sauce was a lovely consistency with just blending…no need to make a roux or thickener. If your sauce is thinner than you would like, return it to the pan and cook uncovered over medium heat to thicken.
Slice your roast into big 1 inch pieces.
Spoon a little of the sauce over the meat and serve with the remainder of the sauce on the side.
I made this amazing Italian-Style Pot Roast for dinner New Year’s Eve and it was a huge hit. I served it with polenta and a grilled vegetable parmesan casserole (recipe coming soon). Jim has requested garlic mashed potatoes as a side dish next time. And believe me, there will DEFINITELY be a next time.
SO good. So easy.
Here’s the recipe – from Giada De Laurentiis
I haven’t tired it yet, but this recipe looks like a great candidate to go in the slow cooker.