Beef in Barolo with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

This is a classic from Piedmont but because Barolo is such a very fine and quite expensive wine, I tend to make this with something less costly but from the same region. Then splash out and buy a bottle of Barolo to drink with it.

Serves 6

This recipe is from the Delia Collection: Italian

Beef in Barolo with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
 2 lb 8 oz (1.15 kg) piece of braising steak or brisket, rolled and tied
 12 fl oz (340 ml) red wine, made from the nebbiolo grape or a barbera d'Albi or d'Asti - see intro
 2 dessertspoons olive oil
 4 oz (110 g) carrot, peeled and chopped
 4 oz (110 g) celery, chopped
 1 medium onion, chopped
 2 cloves garlic
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
 2 bay leaves
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the potatoes:
 3lb (1.35kg) Desiree or Kind Edward potatoes
 8fl oz (225g) hot milk
 6oz (175g) grated Parmesan
 salt and frehly milled black pepper

You will also need a 4 pint (2.25 litre), flameproof casserole.


If you have time, it's good to marinate the beef. Place it in a deep small pot that just fits it, then pour the wine over and leave it for 24 hours, turning it over once during that time.

To cook the beef, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275F (140C) and then heat 1 dessertspoon of the oil in a large, solid frying pan.

Take the beef out of the marinade (reserve the wine) and dry the meat thoroughly with paper towels.

Season it with salt and pepper and, when the oil is very hot, brown the beef on all sides, turning it around until it's browned. Then remove it to a plate, heat the rest of the oil and add the prepared vegetables and garlic to the pan and toss them around until they have turned brown at the edges.

Now place the beef and vegetables in the casserole, pour in the reserved marinade and add the rosemary and the bay leaves.

Then bring it up to simmering point, put a tight-fitting lid on, and transfer the casserole to the oven for 3 hours, turning the meat over at half time.

For the Parmesan mash, all you do is steam the potatoes, cut into even-sized pieces, for 20-25 minutes until tender.

Then, with an electric hand whisk, beat in the milk and Parmesan cheese with a good seasoning of salt and pepper till the potatoes are light and fluffy.

To serve, remove the meat to a carving board, then remove and discard the bay leaves and whiz the vegetables and juices in a blender to make a smooth sauce.

Taste to check the seasoning and serve the meat, cut into slices, with the sauce poured over.

In Italy, it is traditional to serve this with carrots.

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