Stracotto – Jewish-Roman Pot Roast

Stracotto is a typical recipe of Jewish-Roman (or, if you prefer, Judeo-Roman) cuisine: it is substantially a classic pot roast, with beef cooked in tomato sauce for very many hours. If you know a bit of Italian, you have probably guessed that the cooking time is long, since stracotto in my language means “overcooked”. Stracotto is usually prepared on Shabbat, as it can sit for many hours unattended, and only gets better the longer it simmers.


This extraordinary dish has a secret “double life”: it is served simply as a second course, but once the meat is gone, if there is a little tomato sauce left, it can be recycled as a condiment for pasta!
I realize that as we move towards the summer one doesn’t necessarily feel like having stews, but if you think you would enjoy a recipe that practically cooks itself and makes you two dinners instead of one, then by all means forget the season and go for stracotto, you won’t regret it.

If you are interested in learning more about Jewish Roman cuisine, you might want to grab a copy of my cookbook “Cooking alla Giudia” – I collected hundreds of recipe from all over Italy and the giudaico-romanesco cuisine is prominently represented in the book.



Learn the original Jewish-Roman recipe for stracotto, a fall-apart tender pot roast in rich tomato sauce
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Second course
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 6 people


  • 24.5 oz tomato puree (like Mutti or similar)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 kg round or chuck beef
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • Sautée the onion in a large non-stick pan, then, when the onion is golden, add the meat and brown it on all sides. If you have a Dutch oven pot, this is a great time to use it.
    1 onion, 1 kg round or chuck beef, 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pour tomato puree, wine, salt, and a cup of water over the meat, then let it cook over low heat for about three hours, turning the meat about every half hour, and adding water if the sauce dries up too much. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up the cooking time of the meat by using a pressure cooker and increasing the liquids: just make sure there is always enough water to cover the meat.
    24.5 oz tomato puree, 1 cup red wine, 1 tablespoon salt
  • When the beef is fall-apart tender, set it aside and let it come to room temperature before slicing into it.
  • Serve the stracotto hot, and don't forget to save a little sauce for pasta the next day, as the tradition requires.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Rating della ricetta


  1. Hey love the recipe! Do you know how I’d do it with seitan instead of beef though?

  2. You could use meat substitutes but it would not be the same, cause what makes this stew special is the long time the meats cooks until it falls apart. You would still get a delicious dish, just not the same :)