Lombardy-Style Stewed Beef

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The success of this classic stewed beef from Lombardy in the north of Italy depends on several things: the marinating time (overnight is best), the use of a good red wine, like Barolo, and the flavoring of the onions with speck. Watch Mary Ann Esposito make Lombardy-Style Stewed Beef at CiaoItalia.com!

Yield: 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless rump or eye round roast
  • 2-1/2 cups dry red wine such as Barolo
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1/4teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Speck dell'Alto Adige (or pancetta)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Grinding black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the meat in a Dutch oven or similar deep casserole just large enough to hold it. Add the wine, half the onion, and the garlic, celery, nutmeg, bay leaves, and cloves. Cover the meat and refrigerate several hours, or overnight, turning the meat occasionally.
  2. When ready to cook, drain the meat from the marinade and wipe it dry with paper towels. Drain the vegetables and reserve. Save the marinade.
  3. Wipe the Dutch oven or casserole dry, and melt the butter. Add the speck and the remaining onion. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes or until the speck just begins to crisp and the onion is soft. Transfer the mixture to a plate and reserve.
  4. Rub the meat with the flour and add it to the drippings in the pan. Brown the meat well on all sides. Return the pancetta mixture to the pan along with the reserved vegetables. Cook slowly about 5 to 10 minutes. Add saltand pepper to taste, and pour in the reserved marinade. Bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook about 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  5. Transfer the meat to a platter. Remove the bay leaves and cloves and discard them. Placethe remaining liquid and vegetables in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Slice the meat and topwith the sauce.

Tips/Techniques

The meat will slice better if you allow it to stand tented with a sheet of aluminum foil for 15 minutes. Or if made ahead and refrigerated, slice the meat while still cold.