Braised Italian-Style Pot Roast (2023)

By Stanley Tucci , Joan Tucci , Stan Tucci , Gianni Scappin, and Mimi Shanley Taft



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Braised Italian-Style Pot Roast (1)

Photo by Francesco Tonelli

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In Italy it is possible to find inexpensive Barolo wines that are perfect to cook with. Unfortunately, that is not the case in America. Because you don't want to pour a fifteen-dollar bottle of wine over a four-dollar piece of meat, I recommend cooking with a flavorful inexpensive red wine and reserving the Barolo to serve with dinner. For tender, flavorful meat, it is best to prepare this dish several hours or, even better, a full day ahead of time. Reheat it in the oven before serving with mashed potatoes or polenta.

I begin this recipe by preparing a sacchétto di spezie, a little bag of herbs and spices.


Serves 4

(Video) Rach's Italian-Style Pot Roast Is Comfort on a Plate

For the sacchétto di spezie

One 5-inch sprig fresh thyme

5 fresh Italian, flat leafed parsley stems

2 dried bay leaves or 1 fresh bay leaf

One 5-inch sprig fresh rosemary

2 juniper berries, crushed

For the pot roast

One 2-pound piece shoulder of beef, bottom round, or pot roast

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

All-purpose flour for dusting

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup coarsely chopped celery (about 2 stalks)

1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped onion (1 medium-size onion)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot (1 medium-size carrot)

1 bottle (750ml) dry red wine

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, coarsely chopped and soaked in 1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cups canned whole or crushed plum tomatoes

Chicken broth or water as needed

2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

1/4 cup dry red or white wine

  1. To prepare the sacchétto di spezie:

    Step 1

    Combine all the ingredients in the center of a piece of cheesecloth that is large enough to hold the herb sprigs, and tie in a bundle with butcher's string.

  2. To prepare the pot roast:

    Step 2

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Step 3

    2. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then lightly dust with flour. Melt the butter in a large (6-quart) flameproof casserole set over medium-high heat. When it is foaming, add the beef and brown it on all sides, 5 minutes. Add the celery, onions, carrot, and sacchétto di spezie. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the bottle of wine. Cook until the wine begins to boil, about 2 more minutes, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.

    Step 4

    3. Strain the porcini mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit, and add them to the casserole along with the strained mushroom liquid, tomato paste, and tomatoes. The liquid should just cover the meat. If it does not, add chicken broth or water. Cover the casserole and bake it in the oven until the meat is cooked through and tender, about 2 hours. Remove the meat from the casserole to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and set aside.

    Step 5

    4. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the vegetables and herb bag. Pour the broth back into the casserole and set it over high heat. Bring to a boil and add the arrowroot and the 1/4 cup wine. Cook to reduce and thicken the liquid, about 5 minutes. Carve the meat into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve immediately, spooning some of the broth over each portion.

Cooks' Note

WINE PAIRING: Medium red and full red

VARIATION: If you have any leftover meat, shred it and stir it into any remaining sauce. Heat through and serve as a savory pasta sauce over cooked penne.

(Video) Two Greedy Italians - Braised beef in red wine, Brasato di Manzo in Vino rosso (HD)

Reprinted with permission from The Tucci Cookbook by Stanley Tucci with Joan and Stan Tucci, and Gianni Scappin and Mimi Shanley Taft, © 2012 Gallery Books

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Reviews (26)

Back to TopTriangle
  • Lovely! I have made this multiple times since I first read the recipe. It’s easy to pull together, and the result is wonderful! Not to mention how good the house smells while it is perking away. A couple of changes; I do not use the porcini, only because I always forget to pick some up at the grocery, plus, I feel that I need to rob a bank prior to purchasing them!! And I only use a cup or so of red wine, and a full 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, a little extra water and a teaspoon of good beef broth paste, or (please don’t judge me!!) a beef bouillon cube. No tomato paste, as I find the extra amount that is not used, goes bad before I find another use for it. Dredging the meat in flour before browning really helps to thicken the sauce. And I always serve this over polenta. Heaven!!! And it freezes really well!!!

    • Kristi

    • Columbus, Ohio

    • 1/30/2023

  • This is the fourth or fifth time that I've made this and we really like it (and it forgives with substitutions!) I use a chuck roast (I made it once with a shoulder roast and it was TOUGH.) Chuck roast is the only beef roast I'll ever cook again. This time I used petite diced tomatoes, because that was what I had in the pantry. And I used two dried bay leaves and added a little bit of dried rosemary and added both directly to the sauce. I don't bother straining the vegetables out nor do I puree them. I just pull the roast out, add a little bit of corn starch with water to thicken it up and add the roast back in and then serve the meat over mashed potatoes with a vegetably, chunky sauce. This is an easy, lovely, tender, extremely flavorful meal. (Oh, and agree with the reviewer that said not to cover it with liquid and to use a larger roast. I used a 4.5 pound roast and bring the liquid to about 3/4 up the side of the roast.) Also, I'm not sure where y'all are finding roasts for $12 or wine for $7!!! LOL

    • Anonymous

    • Texas

    • 1/10/2022

  • I made recipe and I don’t understand why others were so critical of this dish!! I made it exactly as directed the only two changes were I used regular mushrooms because that’s what I had and I put the vegetables in a blender after the roast was finished and puréed them as two other people suggested which was brilliant and no need to use a thickner! That said this roast was tender and very flavorful and I highly recommend this recipe! Oh and to the person in Crozet VA who complained her piece of meat cost $12.00 well mine was close to $25.00 for almost 3 lbs . But we’ll worth it!

    • easlabe

    • Cleveland OH

      (Video) How to Make BRAISED BEEF Like an Italian

    • 12/10/2020

  • This is the worst recipe that I have made on Epicurious. The taste is second rate and the presentation is awful. Sliced beef with greasy gravy thickened with cornstarch looks like school cafeteria food. The dominance of tomato and wine makes the sauce very sour, and I couldn't taste the nice herbs. In desperation, I pureed the vegetables after dinner was over and added them back into the sauce but it wasn't much better. Plus one demerit for the greasy red stain on my blouse which will never come out.

    • gailsin

    • aalifornia

    • 4/11/2017

  • Many cooks ended up with dry, stringy meat. What a shame. The problems with this recipe are... 1) use a larger piece of meat, 4 lbs. with plenty of connective tissue and well marbled with fat. I prefer a Chuck roast. 2) one must never "drown" the roast in liquid..hence boiling it=dry meat. Liquid should be 1/2 way up to top of roast...hence braising it= succulent meat. And liquid should never boil, but gently simmering. 3) when browning meat, and veg, sprinkle with a few T. Flour. (I don't use Arrowroot) This will thicken sauce throughout cooking. 3). Don't sweat not having cheesecloth for your Aromatics, sauce will should be strained before reducing anyway. Juniper from tree is ideal and free! If no Juniper then sub. Gin...make a toddy while your at it. 4) Porcinis are ridiculously $$ This is a "peasant" dish, not a "precious" dish. I sautéed brown mushrooms and Thyme and added this to the braise towards the end of cooking, 3 hrs. (meat will be falling apart when pulled) 190* degrees or so. 4) don't discard those delicious veggies! Add them to the braise at the end of cooking OR blitz the veg. In the cooking liquid (once meat is removed) with emersion blender, this will add loads of flavor and thicken sauce. This recipe had great inspiration and I love Stanley Tucci but the recipe needed some tweaking.

    • charro1968

    • Goleta, CA.

    • 9/13/2015

  • Best pot roast ever! The addition of the porcini and the Italian crushed tomatoes really made the meat shine. I used chuck steak and with 2.5 hours of cooking the meat was tender, juicy and oh-so flavorful. The sauce cooked down enough that it didn't need any extra thickening, especially once it was pushed through the sieve. Skipped the juniper berries (couldn't find the ones I have on hand) and used our Chianina beef that we buy from a local rancher. I think the Italian spin on the recipe was the perfect match for this Italian breed of cattle. We served this at a dinner party the day after I made it, and everyone loved it. This will be my go-to recipe for pot roast from now on.

    • TazlinaSea

    • Seattle, WA

    • 11/23/2014

  • I don't know why, but my meat came out very tough. I cooked it the two hours and made sure it was completely covered in liquid. Other, similar recipes I've seen have called for the meat to be cooked at least three hours. I'd recommend simmering for much longer in the oven. The gravy/sauce was also on the bland side. I ended up shredding some of the tomatoes into it just to try to give it a richer flavor.

    • srchamberlain

    • Alameda, CA

    • 11/11/2014

  • a winner. very tasty sauce. next time, though, i wouldn't bother with the mushrooms or the carrots/celery. not sure really how much they contributed to the sauce.

    • mudlover

    • vancouver

    • 4/6/2014

  • Very, very good, but not cheap......2.25 lb chuck roast $12.80, dried porcini mushrooms $6.00, wine $7.00 although 4 of us did have a delicious dinner served with mashed potatoes and fantastic second night's dinner over pasta so I'm not complaining! Upped the veggies which made the sauce thicker, left out the anchovies, forgot the bay leaf, cooked it 3 hours turning meat in gravy occasionally. Shredded left over meat into gravy for a very thick pasta sauce. Will make day ahead next time and add more wine to cover meat better while cooking.

    • gconant

    • Crozet, VA

    • 3/4/2014

  • I forgot to click my fork rating!

    • Dodie2

    • Oakland, CA

    • 12/8/2013

  • This was an excellent recipe.I modified it with what i had in the kitchen and garden. I did not have any cheesecloth so I added it to the pot. Then strained it all later. Didn't have tomato paste, and used Marsala and red wine for the liquid. The meat cooked beautifully. I took it out, then I strained it, added dissolved corn starch and more red wine, potatoes, carrots and celery. About fifteen minutes before I wanted to serve, I put the meat back in to warmed it up. Served it with fresh made pop overs. And a dark porter Oregon beer. PERFECT!

    (Video) Stracotto di Manzo (Italian Pot Roast / Braised Beef) with Red Wine

    • Dodie2

    • Oakland, CA

    • 12/8/2013

  • Penzeys sells just about any herb/spice/blend one could want. I believe there is a brick&mortar in Georgetown. I order from them online.

    • pixiechef

    • 10/23/2013

  • do you have to use the cheesecloth or can I add those herbs into the pot loose?

    • thester216

    • novelty, oh

    • 10/20/2013

  • The sauce for this recipe is delicious but I found the meat to be tough and rather boring. My partner loved it though.

    • Anonymous

    • Kalamazoo

    • 4/14/2013

  • Great recipe. You really can't do anything wrong to it if you cook it long enough. I sauteed all the vegetables first for about 10 minutes. Make it the day before and reduce the sauce with all the solids reserved the next day. I'm not the type to purchase two juniper berries, so, I can't comment on that.

    • Benno

    • La Quinta, CA

    • 12/29/2012

TagsRed WineWineAlcoholBeveragesItalianEuropeanBeef ChuckBeefMeatPorcini MushroomMushroomVegetableCanned TomatoTomatoMainDinnerNut FreeMake AheadBraiseCookbooks

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