Stracotto al vino rosso

This rustic Italian beef and red wine dish is one of Theo Randall's favourites. He cooks it on a Sunday, serving it with purple sprouting broccoli and polenta
By Theo Randall
Stracotto al vino rosso
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1.5 kg beef, bottom round or chuck
  • 2 large bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 pinches dried thyme
  • 1.25 litres Barolo wine
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 225 g white mushrooms, washed, dried and thinly sliced
  • 500 g trimmed purple sprouting broccoli

For the polenta

  • 200 g bramata (coarse ground) polenta
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g parmesan, grated


1. For the meat: rub garlic into meat and season. Place in a large bowl with the bay leaves, thyme and enough wine to cover. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Drain the meat (reserving the marinade) then pat dry with kitchen paper.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil in a large heavy casserole until foaming. Add the beef and brown on all sides over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

4. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the casserole and lightly fry for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.

5. Return the meat to the pan and strain the reserved marinade over it. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 2½ hours or until the beef is tender, turning and basting the meat often during cooking. Alternatively, transfer the casserole to a preheated oven set to 160C/140C fan/gas 2 for 2½ hours.

6. For the polenta: about 40 minutes before the meat is ready, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and vigorously whisk in the polenta so that it forms a porridge consistency. Cook, stirring, for 35 minutes or until the polenta pulls easily from the sides of the pan.

7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the 75g butter, grated parmesan and seasoning.

8. Melt another tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms over a high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Add the mushrooms to the meat and cook for an further 5 minutes.

9. Remove the beef from the casserole and leave to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes. If sauce is too thin, boil uncovered over a high heat for 5-10 minutes to thicken.

10. Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until the stems are tender. Drain and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.

11. Carve the meat and arrange on a warm platter. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as necessary, then spoon over the meat. Serve with the polenta and broccoli.

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