Classic Italian comfort food, stracotto, is as easy as pot roast and the leftovers are terrific with pasta—if you have leftovers—that is. You can make this in a dutch oven or a slow cooker.
Italian Pot Roast Stracotto
Serves: 6 with leftovers
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 1/2 hours or 6-8 hours in a slow cooker
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3-4 lbs. chuck roast
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Salt and pepper the roast, then brown it on both sides. If using a slow cooker, put the roast in the cooker. If you’re using a dutch oven, put the roast on a plate.
2. Sauté the vegetables in the oil that remains until they’re soft and a little browned. Add the wine to stir up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. If you’re using a slow cooker, add the vegetables, wine, stock, herbs and tomato to the cooker and turn on low for 6-8 hours.
3. For the Dutch oven, put the roast back in the pot and add herbs, tomato and stock. Bring to a simmer and keep at just a simmer for 2 1/2 hours. If the liquid begins to boil, you may need to crack the lid open. You don’t want a rapid boil, just a few lazy bubbles or the meat will get tough.
4. When the meat is tender, remove and slice thin. To thicken the sauce, especially if made in the slow cooker, boil for a few minutes.
Complete the meal: Serve with Quick and Creamy Polenta and a green salad. An Italian red like Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo will be great in the recipe and to drink. It’s available at Schaefer’s for about $13.
Cook’s note: Leftovers are terrific. Shred the meat, add to the sauce and serve over pasta with a generous sprinkling of cheese.
3-4 pounds chuck roast
2 stalks celery
1 head garlic
1 bunch parsley
1 bottle red wine
1 can beef stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)