Italian Style Braised Beef

This rich beef braise makes a good family dinner.  Serve it with pasta or rice on the side.
Ingredients :

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lb. stewing beef, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 2 cups chopped canned or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
(Conversion Tables for Cooking)

Cooking Procedures :

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  Prepare a casserole.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper.  Add beef to skillet in batches and sear until browned for about 1 minute per side.
  3. Transfer beef to a casserole. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add pancetta and cook until golden for about 2 minutes.  Add onions and carrots and cook for 2 minutes, or until softened.  Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add wine and rosemary and bring to a boil, scraping up any caramelized bits on bottom of pan.
  5. Add stock, tomatoes and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.
  6. Transfer contents to casserole.
  7. Bake, covered, for about 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  8. Cool.  Skim off any fat and remove bay leaf.
  9. Reheat when needed.
  10. Makes 4 servings.

PANCETTA is unsmoked Italian bacon that is cured with salt and spices.  It is made from the pork belly and afte curing is rolled into a salami-like roll.  You could use bacon instead, but there is no real substitute.

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