The Art of Cookery: Braised beef - Italian Braised beef from Tuscan Cooking.

The Art of Cookery - Traditional italian recipes & wines from florentine and tuscan cookingItalian Food RecipesTraditional Florentine, Tuscan and Italian Recipes & Wines


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Stracotto
(Braised beef)
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes.
  • Cooking time: two hours 30 minutes.
  • 1.5kg beef (shoulder, brisket chuck or stewing).
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.
  • One onion.
  • 2 carrots.
  • 2 sticks of celery.
  • One garlic clove.
  • One glass red wine.
  • 500g tomatoes.
  • Parsley.
  • Salt.

 
Tie the joint of beef firmly and brown well in a saucepan with high sides. Chop or slice the onion, carrot and celery and add to the meat with the clove of garlic. Sauté for ten minutes. Increase the heat, add the glass of wine and allow to evaporate, taste for salt and add the peeled tomatoes. Lower the flame and cook gently for two hours with the lid on the pan. Before removing from the heat, add the roughly chopped parsley. If, at the end of the cooking time, the sauce seems a bit too liquid, increase the heat for a couple of minutes, add a drop of oil and allow to reduce. Cut the beef joint into slices and arrange on a warmed serving dish. For a smoother sauce, put in the blender briefly, reheat and then pour it over the sliced meat. Serve immediatly.
 
The name of this recipe actually means "overcooked", but in fact it is a good description, as it is intended for the tougher, tasty cuts of meat which require long, slow cooking.
 
Before the discovery of America and the importation of tomatoes, stracotto was cooked with agresto - a sauce made from crushed, tart grapes, boiled and flavoured with cloves, cinnamon and the juice of squeezed onion.

 
 
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