Delicious Italian Pot Roast with Pasta otherwise known as a Stracotto. Beef, cooked slowly with pancetta, carrots, onion, celery, garlic & sundried tomato puree on a low heat for hours in red wine and beef stock with thyme and bay leaves.
What joint of beef to use for Italian Pot Roast?
- Chuck/Blade/Shoulder, are the best option look for lots of fat marbling for a juicy pot roast.
- Brisket, also works well for pot roast, will require basting every hour.
- Topside/Silverside, will need regular basting.
- Shin/Shank/Skirt, less expensive but flavoursome cut.
- Braising Steak, not the best option but can be slow-cooked.
We used Brisket as it was a special offer in Sainsbury’s Supermarket.
How to make Italian Pot Roast?
The first step is to sear all sides of your meat in olive oil, giving it a nice well browned outer crust. Remove the beef, keeping the oil in the pan.
Add in the carrot, onion, celery, and pancetta, stirring in for a few minutes until softened. Add Garlic and Sundried Tomato Puree (or normal tomato puree).
Next, add beef stock and red wine ( we used So Organic Sainsburys Shiraz) bring to the boil, turn the temperature down, before returning the beef back to the pan.
Add plenty of salt and pepper, and twist the thyme around a couple of bay leaves to add to the sauce. Making it easier to find them when you want to remove them later!
Cover and cook in the oven at 150 C/ 300 F for a 2 1/2 hours in total. This was a 1.24kg piece of meat, adjust accordingly to the size of your joint.
We basted our meat with the cooking liquid twice during cooking (after each hour). After 2 1/2 hrs cooking, remove from oven. Remove the beef from the cast iron pan and place the beef aside to rest.
Now skim as much fat from the pan as possible, use a ladle and push down, trying to get the oil, not the sauce. You need some patience for this!
Then mix cornstarch with water before adding to the sauce (this helps prevent lumps by adding corn starch straight into pan). Bring to the boil and stir in, put back to simmer, whilst you cook pasta.
Whilst the pasta is cooking and the sauce is thickening carve your meat.
What to serve with Stracotto?
We served ours up with Gemelli All’uovo pasta, which is an Italian egg pasta consisting of two strands twisted together. You can use your prefered pasta. Alternatively, Italian Pot Roast is often served with Polenta, Mashed Potato or part of a roast dinner.
Place sliced beef on top of the pasta, pouring the rich sauce all over. Add a sprinkle of fresh Thyme and parmesan cheese. You are ready to eat.
Italian Pot Roast With Pasta
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1.24 kg Beef Joint Chunk, Brisket, Flank, Skirt, Topside, Silverside
- 100 gram Pancetta Diced
- 3 Carrots diced small cubes
- 1 Celery stick diced
- 1 Large Onion diced
- 1 tbsp Gia Garlic Puree or 6 cloves of garlic, crushed.
- 1 tbsp Gia Sundried Tomato Puree or 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400 ml Red wine
- 400 ml Beef Stock
- 2 Bay leaves
- Thyme Bunch
- salt and pepper To season
- 500 gram Pasta We used Gemelli Alluovo
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp of water
- Preheat oven to 150°C (fan)/ 300F
- Add 3 tbsp of oil to a large cast-iron (hob to oven) pan on medium heat. Place beef joint in pan and sear meat on all sides, should take about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate, leaving oil for the next step.
- Add carrot, celery, onion and pancetta to the pan, fry on medium heat for 7 minutes
- Stir in Garlic and Sundried Tomato Puree.
- Add red wine and beef stock bring to the boil, turn the heat off.
- Return beef to pan, season with salt & plenty of pepper add thyme & bay leaves in the sauce.
- Cover and transfer to the oven. Total cook time is 2 1/2 hours. However, I recommend to baste with the sauce at each hour. So time for 1 hour, baste, 1 hour, baste, then final 30 minutes. Keep covered the whole time.
- After 2 1/2 hours. Remove beef from the pan and place aside rest. Throw away the bay leaves and thyme.
- Try to skim as much oil as possible from the top of the leftover sauce. Add Cornstarch and water mixture into the pan and bring to the boil, turn heat to a simmer and leave to thicken, Meanwhile, cook pasta to packet instructions.
- Whilst the pasta cooks and sauce thickens, slice beef into thin slices.
- Serve pasta into a bowl, place sliced beef in centre and top with the delicious sauce. Add a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh thyme leaves.