The Pride of Piedmont: Brasato al Barolo

Looking to channel your inner chef? Are you bored with your go-to recipes? We’re here to help and provide inspiration for new meals you can make at home with Vinous in the Kitchen. Led by Eric Guido, Vinous’ resident Italian wine critic and also a professionally trained chef, Vinous in the Kitchen is a series of delicious recipes you can easily prepare at home. Through his video tutorial and accompanying article, Eric will guide you through each recipe step-by-step, offering useful tips and techniques, as well as ideas on wine pairings. Find the bottles on Delectable, and make sure to share your own favorite pairings. The Pride of Piedmont, Brasato al Barolo is on the menu today. Buon appetito! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Imagine if you will; trust me, it won’t be hard. You’re a foodie and lover of wine who has explored the cuisine of all of your favorite wine-producing regions. Why? Well, that’s simple; as they say, “what grows with it goes with it.” However, your experience has been at the top fine-dining establishments around the world, your own exploration from cookbooks, or better yet, an authentic local restaurant close to the vineyards. Now you’re with me, right, and you think you know just how amazing it is to experience the perfect pairing of regional wine and cuisine? But you’re wrong. Instead, imagine now that you’re a fledgling wine writer, and at one time, a professional chef, touring the cellars of multiple producers in the Monferrato region of Piedmont. Your palate is stained with Barbera, after days of tasting, tingling from zesty acids, while dry from an intensity of primary fruit. However, you don’t mind because the thrill of the surroundings and touring of old traditional cellars is what you love. Then, after tasting from countless large botti, the producer who is hosting you asks if you would like some lunch. Upon agreeing to what you believe will be a plate of cheese and salumi, a door is opened in the middle of their cellar, and as you pass through, you find yourself surrounded by four generations of their family in the middle of a cozy, country-style dining room. The producer's mother appears from the kitchen, carrying plate after plate of regional cuisine. These are the same dishes that you have been tasting each day at local restaurants, yet prepared in a tiny kitchen, by the matriarch of this proud family. There are no fancy garnishes or elaborate variances on traditional classics here. Instead, these are the same preparations that have been passed down for generations. The one that stands out the most, due to your past experiences and attempts to prepare the same dish yourself, is the Brasato al Barolo. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, and paired with a simple yet mature Barbera, each piece of delicate meat melts in your mouth and perfectly balances the acids and intense savory fruit of the wine. This dish is speaking to your soul, and you know that you could never recreate it. All you can do is pay respect to the fact that this family upholds the true traditions of regional cuisine and wine. I ended the trip two weeks later, and the number one thing that stood out in my mind was an unexpected lunch in a cozy family dining room. I can’t say that my Brasato al Barolo is anywhere near as good as the one I enjoyed that afternoon, and what I wouldn’t give to cook alongside that woman and learn her method. However, I will do my best to teach you about a dish that I love, which satisfies on so many levels. Taking a simple chuck roast and turning it into the richest, most flavorful, fall-off-the-fork delicacy you’ve ever experienced. Oh, but don’t forget the sauce, based off of the same wine that was used in the braise. So, grab a bottle of Barolo and get ready because once you’ve made your own Brasato al Barolo, there will be no going back Please note, that this preparation differs slightly from the one in the video since it is using a 5-6-pound chuck roast. WATCH THE FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED(SERVES SIX): 5-6-pound chuck roast 1 bottle of Nebbiolo wine (look for something made in a fresh style. No new oak.) 2 cups of beef or vegetable stock 4 carrots (or six-to-eight baby carrots) 3 stalks of celery (halved and cut into slices) 1 onion (quartered) 1 cup of dried porcini mushrooms (optional) 8 cloves of garlic (whole) 2 sprigs of rosemary 1 sprig of thyme 1 sprig of sage (stem removed) 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp whole butter Salt and pepper as needed FEATURED WINE PAIRINGS: Nebbiolo - Featured Wine: 2018 Produttori del Barbaresco Barolo - Featured Wine: 1999 Luigi Pira Margheria Taurasi - Featured Wine: 2011 Guastaferro Taurasi Primum Riserva Ribera del Duero - Featured Wine: 2016 Dominio del Águila Ribera del Duero Reserva THE PROCESS: Note: I will often refer to the chuck roast as the Brasato throughout the recipe. Also, when preparing your vegetables, remember that you will be serving them later, so be sure to make clean, measured cuts. 1. Remove the chuck roast from your refrigerator up to an hour prior to starting so that it can come up to room temperature. 2. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 3. Place a large gauge stainless pot, stovetop-safe earthenware vessel, or Dutch oven over a burner set to medium-high. Once ready, drizzle olive oil over the Brasato, and season it liberally with salt on all sides. Add the Brasato to the pot, and sear for about two minutes on each side. 4. Once seared, move the Brasato to a platter off the stove. 5. Next, add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pan with a pinch of salt. Stir to loosen the cooked-on fond from the seared Brasato. 6. Once the vegetables have begun to take on color, lower your flame, and begin to pour the wine into the pan and stir (you are deglazing the pan). Follow this with about half of your stock. 7. Return the Brasato to the pan. If the braising liquid does not come halfway up along the sides of the Brasato, then add more stock. 8. Turn your flame back up to medium, and add the sage, thyme and rosemary to the top of the Brasato. If using dried porcini mushrooms, you can add them to the braising liquid now. 9. Allow this mixture to come to a simmer, and then cover with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil. 10. Place the pot into the center of your oven. 11. The meat should braise for four hours like this. However, it is important to turn it over halfway through to allow a steady combination of moist and dry heat to permeate it. 12. Once completed, remove the pot from your oven, and allow the contents to rest for 15-20 minutes. 13. Now, remove the Brasato from the pot and cover with foil. 14. Strain the cooking liquid from the vegetables, being careful not to damage them. The vegetables can rest with the Brasato or be placed back into the oven to stay warm and concentrate flavors. 15. Skim any excess fat from the top of the cooking liquid, then pour it into a wide pan and place over medium heat. The idea is to reduce the cooking liquid into a saucy consistency. Your own preferences are important here, I like to reduce the sauce to a thick consistency, but you may prefer it a little looser. Once done, remove from the heat, taste for seasoning, and add one tablespoon of whole butter (this adds a beautiful sheen and richness to the sauce). Stir to incorporate fully. 16. If you are serving it immediately, slice the Brasato and set it on a platter, dressed with the vegetables. Then drizzle a healthy serving of the reduced sauce over it, reserving some to keep on the side at the table. 17. Garnish with rosemary and thyme and serve. Alternatively, you can slice the roast, submerge it in the sauce, and refrigerate until ready. Warmed over low flame for five to ten minutes, or in an oven until heated through, and you have the ultimate leftovers. --Eric Guido, The Pride of Piedmont: Brasato al Barolo , May 2020 Check out previous Vinous in the Kitchen Recipes: Secret to the Perfect Seared Salmon Mastering Cast Iron Chicken Jump Start Spring with Asparagus Risotto

Produttori del Barbaresco

Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2016

My first words when tasting this wine, spat out almost along with the liquid in my mouth, were ‘holy shit’. For various reasons: the incredible follow-on from what was a very intoxicating nose; the explosion of searingly dry acidity and tannin on the palate; and, ultimately, the tremendous quality (and value) of this wine.

Locked and loaded with tart cherry, strawberry compote, umami, menthol, violet and tar, this is a profoundly complex Barbaresco built for the long haul. It’s far too young now - almost undrinkably so (almost..) even after a five hour decant - but everything’s there. The finish, though it drags every last vestige of moisture from your mouth with it, is delightfully long. I shan’t touch any more of these for at least another five years, but can’t wait to do so.
— 3 years ago

Carsten liked this

Il Borro

Toscana Red Blend 2010

Bold, dry and totally badass. Had with brasato on cold winters day for Christmas dinner. ❤️ Had same bottle 2011 just before. Both super dry but really good with flavorful dinner. — 7 years ago

Ca' Rome' di Romano Marengo

Barolo Nebbiolo 2001

Valentine wine numero due, alongside brasato al barolo — 9 years ago

Jonathan Bensick

Jonathan Bensick

2001 vintage


Riserva Primum Taurasi Aglianico 2011

Amazingly complex and intense. BlackBerry, volcanic ash, graphite, violet, and cigar box. Tannins are still showing so definitely decant and let this baby breath some. So freaking good — 4 years ago

David liked this

Azienda Agricola Dino Illuminati

Riparosso Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Great taste!
Special with strong flawor dishes... like pepperoni, boar or brasato!
Gran gusto!
Speciale con piatti dai sapori forti come primi ai peperoni o brasato o cinghiale!
— 6 years ago

Clerico Massimo

Lessona Nebbiolo 2005

Had with Brasato al Barolo and Polenta. What a perfect Sunday dinner for a cool fall evening. I absolutely love this producer. Elegant Nebbiolo that is just so lovely and enjoyable to drink. — 8 years ago

Chris, Devrim and 3 others liked this

Dominio del Aguila

Reserva Ribera del Duero Tempranillo 2014

Dark and inky garnet color. Aromas and flavors of smokey vanilla, wet earth, with an herbal note of sage over the top of the black fruits which are still coming through nicely. Super savory and meaty tannins and stark acidity tell me this can age infinitely! — 5 years ago

Robert, James and 15 others liked this

Tommaso Bussola

Ca' del Laito Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Corvina Blend 2012

A Ripasso that has acquired more Amarone character than most. Nose has spiced fruitcake and some spirity port-like rich fruit. Instantly mouthfilling, but with lots of structural scaffolding. Only quibble is a bit of heat shows through at the end, but with something like a rich brasato that shouldn't be noticeable and may even be a plus. — 7 years ago

Angelo Casagrande
with Angelo
Isaac liked this
Angelo Casagrande

Angelo Casagrande

I don't get the alcohol Tome gets, nor do I find it so Amarone- like. I find the dominant characteristic spice- nutmeg/ cardamom Nice rich cherry.

Cantina Luigi Pira

Vigna Margheria Barolo Nebbiolo 1999

epic end of an era party. — 10 years ago

Eric liked this