Sunday, February 1, 2015

Stracotto with Porcini: Recipe 1!

Stracotto with Porcini over
creamy polenta
With not too much further ado (after all, you’ve waited five years for this, all my zero long-time readers), here is the last recipe!  For context, I ate this at an Italian wine tasting at a slice of heaven, Dave’s Fresh Pasta.  My good friend and I liked it so much (despite already eating five plates of food…), that I wrote them to request the recipe a few days later.  They replied and told me they’d just used Giada’s recipe, and sent me the link.  

This recipe is easy, smells great while cooking, and could feed the entire army of...Vatican City?  According to the Internet, it’s a country, so I’m stickin’ with it!  Clearly this called for a crowd, so I sent out a call for meat eaters, and Hannah, Emily, Zoe and Peter turned up hungry.  I fed them this over some creamy polenta (ie. milk instead of water and some parmesan and spices stirred in) and made sure they left feeling disgustingly full and a little tipsy after serving them the Smitten Kitchen’s delicious recipe for Red Wine Chocolate Cake (I'll share that recipe later, but here is the link).

Good friends = good eating times
Despite me having a celebratory Old Fashioned that caused me to forget to add salt and pepper at the end, they all claimed to really like it (but don’t forget to season it; it does enhance the flavor, duh). And, despite five hungry grown adults (although Emily and I might only count as one standing on each others shoulders), I had at least five servings left over.  I can attest to this, like chili, deepening in flavor over time, especially when you say, add some more wine when you reheat it…All in all, it was a great dinner, with great company, and a delicious way to cap of my 52 Le Creuset Project!  I’ll have some thoughts on that for you tomorrow, along with my top 10 list from the project.  

Stracotto with Porcini

Serves 8-10
Recipe adapted from Giada/Food Network
Stracotto with Porcini and Polenta
1 5lb boneless chuck roast
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1.5 cups red wine
1.5 cups beef broth (low sodium)
½ oz dried porcini mushrooms (rehydrated and rinsed)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, destemmed and chopped
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme, destemmed
salt & pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Season the beef with salt and pepper
3) Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium high, and brown beef on all sides for roughly 10-12 minutes total.  Remove and set aside to rest.
4) Reduce the heat to medium/medium-low, add a bit more oil, and saute the onions until tender, roughly 8 minutes.
5) Add the garlic and cook one minute, then add the wine to deglaze the pot. Add broth and mushrooms to the pot.
6)  Return beef to the pot and bring the liquids to a boil.  
7) Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven, cooking roughly 3 hours or until the beef is “fork tender,” turning the beef at roughly the 1.5 hour mark and recovering the pot.  Add more broth as needed if too much has cooked off in the process.
8) Remove the pot from the oven, and then carefully remove the beef from the pot, setting aside on a ridged cutting board or in a large baking pan to avoid a mess.  Cover with aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes.
9) Meanwhile, back on the ranch, let the liquids cool 15-20 minutes to allow some of the fat to congeal on the top of the pot.  Spoon it off, and blend the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.  Add rosemary, thyme, and a little bit of salt and pepper.  Turn on the heat and bring to medium high to cook the mixture down some and thicken it, simmering 5-10 minutes, and stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Taste, and season to taste with some more salt and pepper.
10) While this part of the production is going on, cut the beef into cubes that are bite size or a tad bigger.  Giada suggests when this is done to plate the beef on big platter/bowl, but I added them right back into my pot when I was done!
11) Serve over polenta, try not to drool too much.  

Minimal ingredients, maximum beef

  • I’ve upped the wine and lowered the broth to match; I think the wine gives this a richer sauce, personally.  
  • I also made the mistake of adding some of the porcini broth.  It just made my sauce a little more watery than I wanted, especially when trying to cook it down in a timely fashion because my guests were starving.  I probably didn’t get it down to where I will in the future either - so make sure you do you!
  • As noted: season.taste.season.taste.  Things just taste better when they’re well seasoned!
  • I used a combo of Nero d’Avola and some old Garnacha I had on hand.  I think any red will work, but isn’t it more fun to go with the theme and stick to Italy?  
  • I think I’d like to try to saute some mushrooms to add with the meat at the end.  I think you could add many things stew-y too, like carrots, onions, potato, etc. and remove them with the meat or cook separately and then add at the end
  • This is a huge piece of meat.  Bring your muscles and courage, chefs.  
See? Huge.

HUGE. Also, halfway to done, about to be flipped.

"Fork tender"

Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Whipped Orange Mascarpone

Look, don't blame the camera. After this much red wine, you'd be blurry too. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...