Beef Braised in Barolo: How to Make the Perfect Recipe

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A luscious meat, tender and tasty, with a sauce rich in flavor and aromas; these are the characteristics of Beef Braised in Barolo, a traditional dish of Piedmont. Here’s how to prepare the perfect recipe

Beef Braised in Barolo is one of the cult dishes of the Italian tradition, more precisely of Piedmontese cuisine. Barolo is a red wine made with Nebbiolo grapes, typical of the Piedmont region, used to cook the beef in this recipe.

The particularity of this dish is the tenderness of the meat, which is seared so that its juices remain inside before being cooked for a long time in a marinating made of an excellent wine and vegetables such as celery, carrots and onions. The result is a dish full of flavors and tasty. Accompanied with a bottle of Barolo, of course.

beef braised in barolo wine

When it comes to rich and succulent recipes, the Piedmont region takes the field by showing off some really magnificent dishes. Starting from the timeless vitello tonnato to the famous ravioli del plin. Or recipes such as salsa verde, irresistible companion of boiled meats. Not to mention desserts: the bonet, for example, or the panna cotta, whose consistency never ceases to conquer the gluttonous palates of the whole world.

And after this irresistible roundup of delicacies, which are part of the heritage of Italian cuisine, we move to the top of the recipes of Piedmont: Beef Braised in Barolo. Let’s see together how to prepare this dish of tender and tasty meat, maybe accompanied with a potato purée or polenta.

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Beef Braised in Barolo Recipe

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Cook Time: 2 H 10 Min + 12 H marinating
  • Servings: 4


  • 1 Kg (2,2 lb) boneless beef chuck roast or bottom round
  • 1 bottle of Barolo
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks of medium celery
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 medium potato (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a bunch of aromatic herbs (bay, sage, rosemary)
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • fine salt


beef braised in barolo wine prep 1 2 3

Clean celery, carrots and onion and cut them into large chunks of about 2 hinches, then clean the garlic clove. In a fairly large bowl place the meat, vegetables with garlic, aromatic herbs, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Add the wine until cover the whole meat. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for 12 hours (1). After the necessary time, take the meat and place it on a cutting board and dry it with paper towels (2). In a non-stick pan with high sides, melt the butter in oil over medium heat. As soon as it’s hot, add the meat and brown over high heat. Turn over on all sides to form a crust on the surface (3).

beef braised in barolo wine prep 4 5 6

After the browning process, drain the vegetables, herbs and spices (4) and add them to the meat. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. If you want a dish with a sauce even richer in vegetables, at this point of cooking you can add 1 carrot and 1 celery cut into pieces  (5). Now you can adjust salt and add its marinade. Bring to a boil, then cover with the lid and cook over low heat for about 2 hours, turning the meat from time to time. If you think the sauce can be too liquid, add 1 medium potato cut into pieces after 1 hour of cooking. This way the sauce will be more dense and creamy(6).

beef braised in barolo wine prep 7 8 9

Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pan and put aside on a plate covering with the lid (7). With a spoon try to remove as much as possible the herbs and spices. Then blend the vegetables and the sauce with the immersion mixer (8). Meanwhile, slice the meat, trying to get 2-3 slices per person and place them in a serving dish; finally cover the slices with the sauce and serve immediately (9). Beef Braised in Barolo is ready, enjoy!

What cut is best for beef stew?

You can choose the shoulder or thigh muscle, because these cuts are rich not only in thin veins of fat, but also in connective tissue, which are fundamental for the meat being cooked soft and tender.

beef braised in barolo

Is marinating really necessary?

Marinating meat in wine, vegetables and spices is a fundamental step. The time required is 12 hours for the aromas of vegetables and wine, in addition to spices, to enrich the taste of meat. The marinade is not to be thrown, but used to cook the beef.

The browning, an important step

One of the mistakes that is often made in cooking this dish is to cook the beef with vegetables and wine, without first being browned. This step, which is essential, is used to enclose within the piece of beef juices that keep the meat tender and soft, despite the long cooking. In this way the meat almost melts in your mouth, without losing taste and flavor.

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