Stracotta is the Italian work for “overcooked”. Italians seem to have the ability to prepare (on purpose) something that is overcooked yet delicious as in a “stracotta” where all the flavors become concentrated and heightened. Some would call this dish braised beef or least of all a pot roast. Our Nonna prepared it this way using a ricer to make a rustic sauce to serve with this slowly oven-simmered beef.

You can also make this on the stove top as a stew using cut up chunks of beef. For an I’d Rather Be Out Riding My Vespa recipe use a jar of Tuscan Red Sauce from CosituttiMarketPlace for a RTE (ready to eat meal) that makes it easy to prepare the generational recipes of our Italian grandmothers. Just add the meat for a stufato (stew) and bring the rustic flavors of Italian casalinga cooking home.

Stracotta di Manzo  

Ingredients: for – 3 -4 lbs. of top round of beef

– 2-3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
– 3 cut up medium carrots
– 1 large onions sliced
– 2 cut up celery stalks
– 1 lb. ripe tomatoes (peel, seed and cut them)
– 1 fourth cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1 and a half cup dry red Italian wine
– salt and pepper and rosemary leaves
– 1 cup of water
Roll and tie up beef and then make small holes to put the garlic in. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and brown the beef on all sides for a nice sear. Add the carrots, onions and celery and brown vegetables until soft. Add the wine. Boil until the wine has been reduced to about a half cup and add 1 and a half cups of water. Add tomatoes. Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Finish in a 350 degree oven for about 60-90 minutes. Remove vegetables and put through a sieve or ricer to make a coarsely textured sauce. Slice the meat and return to pan with sauce. Warm sliced meat in pan with sauce and serve with polenta.


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