Stracotto is a typical recipe of Jewish-Roman (or, if you prefer, Judeo-Roman) cuisine: it is a roast of meat cooked for many hours, as you might have guessed by its name, which in Italian means “overcooked”, in a rich tomato sauce. It is usually prepared on Shabbat, as it can sit for many hours unattended, and only gets better over time.
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 solves two dinners for you, then by all means go for this one.
This stracotto is one of the dishes I have prepared for my client Pomì.
- 1 bottle tomato puree
- 1 onion
- 1 kg round or chuck beef
- 5 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
- 1 glass red wine
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Sauté 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, use it!
- Pour tomato sauce, wine, and a glass 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.
- When the beef is fall-apart tender, set it aside and let it come to room temperature before you slice it.
- Serve warm, remembering to save a little sauce for pasta the next day, as the tradition suggests.