Stracotto with Mushrooms

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I am not Italian, but sometimes I play one in the kitchen. Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis version, with my own little changes “a la Mama,” made something really wonderful for tonight’s windy, raining weather. Start with a good, flavorful cut of beef, a nice red wine and off you go! Complimented with creamy Parmesan polenta and roasted brussels spouts with pancetta.

Stracotto -- Italian Pot Roast

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Stracotto a la Mama R (Italian Pot Roast)
Serves 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hrs
Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis’ Stracotto with Porcini Mushrooms

olive oil
5 lb Beef Loin/Top Sirloin Roast
3 sweet italian sausages (optional)
1 pkg dried porcini mushrooms
½ lb fresh cremini mushrooms, cut in half
2 yellow onions chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
2 cups water
1 cup red wine (Zinfindal or other flavorful red)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt
coarse ground black pepper

Pour 1 cup of warm water over dried porcini mushrooms to rehydrate. Soak for about 15 minutes. Save liquid.
Clean cremini mushrooms, cut of dry end of stems, cut in half.
Chop onions, mince garlic
Pat roast dry with paper towels, rub all over with about 2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper
Heat 7 qt. Dutch Oven med-high, add olive oil

1. Sear and brown roast on all sides – takes about 8 minutes. Brown sausages.
2. Remove meat from pan, add garlic and onions, saute until translucent.
3. Add crimini mushrooms and continue cooking about 3-5 minutes to allow the mushrooms to soak up the flavors.
4. Pour in red wine to deglaze bottom of pot
5. Add porcini mushrooms, pour liquid through sieve to remove any particles, leave last bit of liquid in bowl where sediment has settled.
6. Add 1 cup water and bay leaves, put meat back into pot, bring liquid up to a boil, cover and cook 2 ½-3 hours until meat is tender.
7. Turn roast at about 1.5 hours.
8. Remove roast and sausages and cremini mushrooms from pan, cover with foil to keep warm.
9. Add chopped rosemary and thyme to sauce,  continue to cook 5 minutes
10. Remove excess fat from sauce, then with immersion blender, puree onions and porcini mushrooms to enrichen sauce. Taste for salt and pepper.

Cut roast  and sausages in thick slices, place on rimmed serving platter, cover with sauce and mushrooms. Provide extra sauce at the table. Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Recipe from What About The Food? Blog Copyright 2010

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