This Italian Pot Roast, called "Stracotto" is the ultimate comfort food that will warm anyone's bones and soul! Beef is seared and roasted with an array of delicious vegetables covered in a luxurious, velvety tomato-based sauce.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 – 5-lb. boneless chuck roast
- salt, pepper, and any dried seasonings that you prefer (I use salt-free Mrs. Dash)
- 2 tsp. salt (taste in the middle of cooking to determine if you want more salt added)
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped plus
- 6 – 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal approximately 2″ wide
- 2 celery stalks, chopped plus
- 4 – 6 celery stalks, sliced on the diagonal approximately 2″ wide
- 1 onion – chopped into 1/2” pieces
- 12 garlic cloves: 2 cloves minced to saute’ in sauce, plus 10 cloves sliced to insert into beef
- 4 oz. pancetta, diced
- 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 cup hot beef stock, then cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 container crimini (button) mushroom caps, not sliced
- 4 – 6 medium-size russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 2″ cubes
- 1 small jar sliced roasted red peppers, drained, use no more than 1/2 cup
- 1 small can artichoke hearts, drained, use no more than 1/2 cup
- 1 small 6 oz. can tomato paste, using 3 Tbsp at first and then if necessary, use the remainder after baking for a few hours.
- 1/2 cup Italian red wine
- 1 tall carton low-sodium beef broth/stock
- thyme – 3 sprigs minced, 2 sprigs of leaves for final seasoning
- sage – 1 tbsp. freshly chopped
- basil – 1/3 cup finely chopped
- rosemary – leaves of 2 sprigs minced, 1 sprig of leaves for final seasoning
- 28–oz. canned whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed, preferably an imported Italian brand
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
- minced parsley
- rosemary sprig
- Place dried porcini mushrooms in hot beef stock to reconstitute and soften for about 30 minutes.
- Season both sides of the beef with salt and pepper, plus any dried seasonings that you prefer.
- Pour olive oil into a large, deep cast iron dutch oven pot or a lined cast iron pot (such as Le Creuset).
- Add the beef to the pan to sear (brown) on each side for about 7 minutes, turning only once, totaling about 15 minutes. While beef is searing, sprinkle about a teaspoon of chopped garlic all over to saute with the beef.
- Remove beef from the pot and place on a platter.
- With a sharp knife, cut slits in the beef and insert the slices of garlic.
- In the hot olive oil, saute the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and pancetta.
- Then add the chopped garlic and saute for another 3 – 5 minutes, being very careful not to burn the garlic.
- Deglaze the pan with about 2 Tbsp. deep, dark red wine (merlot or burgundy) and simmer until the wine is reduced but not completely evaporated.
- Add 3 Tbsp. or more of tomato paste and the cans of imported Italian tomatoes and juice, squishing the tomatoes so that they fall apart as you pour them into the pot.
- Add all of the chopped herbs, except for the sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and Italian parsley which are added at the end of cooking.
- Gently stir everything together with a large spoon.
- Add the beef broth and red wine.
- Add the large cut up pieces of carrots, celery, and potatoes.
- Add the artichokes, roasted red pepper slices, and the crimini and porcini mushrooms.
- Place the garlic-studded beef roast back into the pot on top of the vegetables.
- Add a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary to the pot.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bake in the oven for 3 hours on 325 F degrees OR until fork tender (beef easily breaks up into pieces with a fork).
- Add the chopped Italian parsley for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- After roasting is finished, remove from the oven and cover loosely and allow everything to rest for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme, and minced Italian parsley.
- This is an extraordinary Italian Pot Roast. Serve with polenta, either soft and creamy or fried. It is also wonderful served with parmesan risotto, garlic mashed potatoes, or pasta