All of the below recipes are adapted from “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan. We ate some of the leftover roast with peperoncini on baguettes, making for a delicious Italian Beef style sandwich.
Pot Roast Braised in Red Wine (serves 6):
- 4 lb boneless chuck roast
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp carrot, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp celery, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped canned tomato
- pinch of dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp dried marjoram
- black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350* F. Heat oil in a dutch oven large enough for the roast. When hot, add meat and brown well all over, remove and set aside. Do not clean the dutch oven. Add the butter, and when melted, the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until soft. Add the wine and bring to a brisk bubble. Scrape the bottom while stirring. Add meat and broth. If the liquid does not come up to at least 2/3 the way up the meat, add water or more broth. Add tomato, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cover and place in oven. Cook for about 3 hours, turning the meat about every 30 minutes. Baste with the liquid while turning, adding a little extra if it all evaporates. Meat is done when extremely tender. Remove the meat, and reduce the juices as necessary. Serve meat with the pan juices.
Risotto with Porcini (serves 6):
- 5 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups arborio rice, or other rice suitable for risotto
- 1 oz dried porcini, soaked and chopped
- water from mushroom soaking, filtered
- black pepper
- salt if needed
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
Bring the broth to a steady simmer. Heat 1 tbsp butter, the oil, and the onion in a broad pot. Cook until the onion is translucent, then add the rice. Stir until the grains are well coated. Add 1/2 cup broth, let absorb while stirring constantly and scraping the bottom. Add another 1/2 cup broth and let absorb completely. Add 1/2 cup mushroom liquid and the mushrooms. stir until liquid is gone. Continue this way, first using up the mushroom liquid, then switching back to broth. Risotto is done when rice is tender but still has texture, and no liquid remains in risotto pot. Stir in pepper, salt if needed, the remaining 1 tbsp butter, and the parmesan.
Cauliflower Gratin (serves 4):
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Cut cauliflower into florets. Smear a baking dish with butter. Arrange cauliflower in dish, dot with extra butter, and sprinkle with salt. Cover with parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400* F, or until the cauliflower is cooked and the cheese topping is golden.