Brasato: the recipe

We just saw how red wine marinades influence the tenderness of the meat. Let’s roll our sleeves up and prepare one of the most popular Italian stew: brasato.

Brasato is tipical from Piedmont and is commonly prepared with Barolo wine. Considering that I live in Canada and Barolo costs a fortune (starting from 40$...), I have used a Chianti, whose tannin content is, however, not as high as Barolo. I would like to remember that it is the presence of tannins that provokes the softening of the meat. If, as me, you don’t want to waste a good bottle of Barolo for cooking, you can opt for another tannin-rich wine as Nebbiolo.


Brasato with red wine

  • 500-600 g of veal (e.g. rump cut)
  • 750 mL of red wine (better if Barolo or Nebbiolo, I used Chianti)
  • 250 mL of water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 leek stalks
  • 2 table spoons of flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed
  • Salt as needed

Place the meat in a bowl and add the wine, the water, the bay leaves and the cloves. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 20-24 h. After this time, remove the meat from the marinade and dry it with some tissue. Stir fry the meat in a pot with tall edges, where you added some oil. Make sure the meat get roasted on each side. Add the flour and roll the meat to distribute it evenly. Add the marinade along with all the herbs. Peel the onions and chop them roughly. Chop also the leek, and add them to the meat along with onions and salt. Cook everything for 3 h under a very low flame.  Remove the meat from the pot and cut it in slices that you will place on a serving dish. Blend the sauce and the vegetables left in the pot, and pour it on the meat before serving (I added 2-3 teaspoons of corn starch to get a thicker sauce).