As summer draws near to its end, I’m anticipating the richer dishes of fall and winter.: the hearty stews, the rich braises, the luxurious roasts—all make it easy for me to bid farewell to summer and its light cuisine. So maybe it was serendipity that led me into my local Whole Foods on Saturday to find chuck roast discounted 25%. How could I resist?
We had a full schedule on Sunday, so I turned to my trusty slow cooker to cook the roast and to Michele Scicolone’s The Italian Slow Cooker for a recipe. (This author’s slow-cooker books (Italian, French, and Mediterranean) are a great resource for this appliance, offering fool-proof, authentic recipes.) I turned to the book’s “Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb” section and, once again, was pleasantly surprised to discover that its first recipe was for the cut of meat I had purchased: “Beef in Barolo.”
As my savings at Whole Foods could not justify the expense of a Barolo for cooking, I thought I could more than get by with a younger version of this wine made from the same grape, Nebbiolo. And one more time luck led me to a local merchant where I found a bottle of Langhe from a reputable producer at a very good price.
Here’s a link to the recipe online. If you like your carrots and celery in the braise to have some chew, you may opt, as I did, to slice them on the thick side. However, any way you choose to slice your vegetables, this recipe yields an aromatic and deliciously succulent roast that holds its shape even after six hours of cooking.
Wine Pairing: Langhe, Cabernet Sauvignon