BRASATO AL BAROLO / SHORT RIBS IN BAROLO
This is the daddy of all great braises from the Piemonte, and it is consistently a huge seller in the restaurants there because it offers big beef flavor, super-tender “fork-cutting” meat, and the opportunity to drop big ducats on the delicious Barolos and Barbarescos that match it perfectly. ZIOBAFFA likes that. A wonderful meal in the winter. We call it, comfort food.
6 tablespoons extra-virgin OLIVE OIL
2 pounds boneless BEEF SHORT RIBS, cut into 3-inch cubes
SALT and freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
2 large Spanish ONIONS, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium CARROT, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 ribs CELERY, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 ounces PANCETTA, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups Barolo or other HEARTY RED WINE
2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce*
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, brown the meat all over, turning frequently, until dark golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
Pour the excess oil out of the pot. Add the onions, carrot, celery, and pancetta and cook until the vegetables are light brown and starting to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
Add the meat and bring back to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the meat is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Transfer the meat to a festive platter.
Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and reduce to 2 1/2 cups. Season with salt and pepper, pour over the meat, and serve immediately with either a side of Risotto, Creamy Mushroom Polenta or large flat pasta like Tagliatelle.