In an effort to be a "smart shopper," whenever I see a good deal, I try to buy extra and freeze it. Thus, when cleaning out my freezer the other day, I found a huge chunk of beef. I usually throw it into a slow cooker with some veggies and turn it into pot roast. I wanted to try a little something different this time though. I searched the recipes on FoodNetwork.com. I found this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis and decided to give it a try!
Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms
*1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
*Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*2 onions, sliced
*6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
*1 cup dry red wine
*1 3/4 cups canned beef broth
*1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
The recipe was pretty simple. I had most of the ingredients... I had to run out and pick up the porcini mushrooms, but Curt and I almost always have a bottle of wine at the house somewhere. :) I had intended to make this for dinner one night, but I didn't read the recipe thoroughly because it takes 3 hours to bake!
The first thing you do is season the beef with salt and pepper and then brown it on all sides in a bit of olive oil.
(Kylie wanted to help too)
While the meat was browning, I set to slicing the onions and garlic. I used 1 GIANT onion instead of 2 regular ones. Once the meat was browned on all sides, I took it out of the pan to rest for a bit. I then threw in the onions and garlic. I also added a bit more oil, just to keep everything from burning.
After the onions and garlic were softened and smelling delicious, I added in the wine and let it come to a boil. While I was waiting for the concoction to boil, I decided to figure out what to do with the porcini mushrooms. I've never used them in cooking before, so I wasn't sure how they would taste.
I didn't soak them or anything, just left them dried and threw them in with the beef broth.
I waited a few minutes for the mushrooms to soften up and get used to being in the little beef broth bath.
After a few minutes, I returned the big hunk of meat to the pan. You are supposed to use a big roasting pan to cook all of this, but I don't have one. I decided to just cook everything in a pan and when I came time to "cover and bake," I just transferred everything to a casserole dish and covered it tightly with aluminum foil.
I braised the beef in the oven at 350 for 3, yes, 3 hours. By this time, the house was smelling absolutely fabulous. I took the dish out of the oven and carefully removed the beef from the dish and set it on a separate plate for a bit. Look at how delicious it looks!!!
Now, it's time to make the dish even more Curtman friendly. I took all of the pan juices, onions, mushrooms, and garlic, and poured them into a little container. Then, I grabbed one of my favorite tools: the immersion blender! I whirled everything together until there was not one little piece that resembled a veggie. Instead, it looked and smelled like a delcious gravy!
I served the stracoto with some roasted garlic mashed potatoes. The dish was absolutely delicious! I'm definitely going to have to make this one again sometime. Next time, I'll try adding some green beans, or some non-starchy form of veggie to go with it. Altogether though, I'm definitely going to add this recipe to my Favorite Recipe Box.