January 2, 2014

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Beef with Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Beef

Braising beef is like magic.  It goes into the oven big and tough, and comes out shredded and delicious.  I often call it 'melting'--but then people look at me weird.

And how it tastes!! The flavors meld together, the beef is tender and has absorbed all the fat, flavor, and juices.

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Beef with Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs

I made this beef for our New Year's Eve Dinner party.  It's perfect for feeding a crowd, and any leftovers you have can be turned into lots of other things! I'll have more ideas for using your braised beef later in the week.

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Beef

Because of the red wine and balsamic this beef leans towards and Italian flavor profile, so it's perfect for being served over pasta.  But the flavors don't scream, so you can serve it over polenta, or in sandwiches too.

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Beef with Herbs
author: Happy Food Happy Home
recipe adapted from Braised Beef from The Kitchn
serves 8-10

5-6 pound chuck roast
lots of salt and pepper
1-3 tablespoons veggie oil
2 large onions
10 cloves of garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 32 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 stems rosemary (about 2 tsp)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups red wine (I used 1 cup cabernet sauvignon and 1 cup of a blended bold red wine)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Prep your veggies.  Dice onions and chop garlic.   
  3. Cut your chuck roast into 4 pieces. Season with salt and pepper on all the sides of all the pieces.  Add lots of salt and pepper --there's a lot of meat to season. 
  4. Add 2 chunks of your roast to the dutch oven. Brown thoroughly on all sides--about 15 minutes for all sides. The meat's crust should be dark brown--this is what creates the flavor!  Remove the seared pieces to a plate.   Repeat with other 2 pieces.
  5. Turn the heat to low.  Add diced onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes until onions are softened.  
  6. Add tomatoes, rosemary and thyme to pot.  Increase heat to medium and bring the tomatoes to a simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape any fond (brown yummy meat bits) off the bottom of the pot.  
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  8. Add the wine and bring the pot back to a simmer.  Turn off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar.  
  9. Nestle the chunks of meat back down into the liquid.  Add the lid onto the pot and place into oven.
  10. Cook in oven for 4 hours.  Check halfway through.  You may need to readjust the chunks back into the liquid.  
  11. After 4 hours taste for tenderness and seasoning.  I added extra salt and pepper (probably 1/2 tsp each).  
  12. Use two forks to shred the meat.  Stir it all together combining the meat and the juices together. 
  13. Throw the pot of braised beef into your fridge overnight. This allows the flavors to come together, the meat to rest and reabsorb juices and fat, and gives you a pot of deliciousness to look forward to tomorrow. 
  14. An hour and a half before dinner heat your oven to 300 degrees.  Put your braised beef back into the oven.  Stir the meat about 30-40 minutes into the rewarming time.  
  15. Serve the braised beef over pasta, polenta, or mashed potatoes!  Feel free to grate Parmesan cheese over the top. 
We at our braised beef with rotini and a salad.  It was really really good, and Dustin and I both wanted to eat more! We made ourselves stop because we didn't want to scare our friends.  

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Beef with Balsamic Vinegar

The tomato and wine braised beef was a great dish to cook for a dinner party because everything was done and cleaned up 24 hours before our guests arrived.  It was a tasty make ahead dinner party meal.  And all of our friends loved it too!

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