Manzo Costatine Brasato al Nebbiolo
or: Beef Short Ribs Braised in Nebbiolo
I’m still having fun with the Tourist Office of Langhe and Roero’s Recipe/Food Photography contest, #LangheRoeroinCucina. This week’s ingredient is the local beef, Razza Bovina Piemontese. Obviously, I can’t get Razza Bovina in Minnesota, but I can get local grass-fed beef from my friends at Sunshine Harvest Farm! Not strictly Piemontese, but true to the Locavore Piemontese spirit. Beef braised in Barolo is an Italian tradition; it fits perfectly with our long Minnesota winters. We spend many a Sunday afternoon with the kitchen full of good smells from something braising for hours in the oven. It’s not too late, you might still enjoy this meal on a cool spring day.
This is a great meal for entertaining, as most of the work can be done before guests arrive. The final preparation is quick and easy. A couple of notes on the dinner and the wine: you don’t need to use Barolo ($$) as your wine for braising, but you’ll want to use a nice Nebbiolo based wine, like Langhe Nebbiolo. Serving a fine Barolo or Barbaresco with the meal will complement the braised meat perfectly. If your budget is tighter, a nice Langhe Nebbiolo will do the trick.
Azienda Agricola E. Piro et Figli Cuvee Chiara Barolo 2002
Eye: Clear, translucent warm red, a bit of orange at the edge
Nose: Beautiful immediately on opening, fresh, vital red fruit with prominent herbal component
This wine was a special gift from our friends, Robert and Leslie Alexander. Leslie painted the label art for this wine! Robert told us the 2002 vintage had been a difficult one, and that we shouldn’t sit on the wine as it may not age as well as many vintages would. Obviously, we saved the bottle.
The single most important thing to remember with this recipe? You need to start a day ahead, as the meat needs to marinate overnight. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten this crucial step and had to change plans. Ouch!
Manzo Costatine Brasato al Nebbiolo (Beef Short Ribs Braised in Nebbiolo)
Wine Pairing: Nebbiolo based wine, especially Barolo or Barbaresco
- 1 kg beef short ribs with bones, cut into large chunks
- 2 bottles Langhe Nebbiolo
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, cut into medium chunks
- 2 celery sticks, cut into thick slices
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 large pinch of ground cinnamon
- additional stock if liquid is required during braising
- sea salt, freshly ground pepper, extra virgin olive oil
- Important: The meat must be marinated overnight. Start this recipe the day before serving!
- Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a dutch oven on a medium heat. Being careful not to overcrowd the meat, brown on all sides, you may need to do this in several batches.
- After the meat has been browned, add another 1 Tbs of olive oil to the dutch oven and brown the onions. Remove the dutch oven from the stove top and allow to cool.
- Add the beef, the vegetables and herbs, and cover with the two bottles of Nebbiolo. Place in the refrigerator overnight to marinate.
- The next day, set the oven for 150° C. Place the dutch oven in the center of the oven. Check after 1/2 hour, adjust the oven temperature to allow the liquid to bubble a bit, but not an active boil. Usually 125°-150°C is just right.
- The meat will usually take at least 3 hours to become fork-tender.
- When the meat is done, remove it carefully from the dutch oven. Be careful as the meat can easily slip off the bones.
- Strain the remaining liquid to remove the vegetables and herbs.
- In the same dutch oven, reduce the liquid over medium heat to the consistency you desire.
- Return the meat to the reduced liquid and hold in the oven at 100-125° C until ready to serve
Side dish – Mashed Melange of Potatoes, Turnips & Cauliflower
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 turnips, peeled and cubed
- 2 cauliflower florets, cut into chunks
- 2 Tbs butter
- 125 grams milk
- Olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 225° C
- Toss the vegetables with 1 Tbs of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place in a single layer in a roasting pan.
- Roast for 25 minutes
- Mash all three vegetables together with the butter and 1/2 of the milk.
- Adjust to your desired consistency with the remaining milk.
Serve the braised beef on the mashed vegetables. Enjoy!
Thanks to Robert and Leslie Alexander, of Travel Langhe for a lovely and memorable bottle of wine!