Skip to main content

Brasato: Beef Braised in Red Wine (Great Make-Ahead Meal)

My husband is a wonderful cook. We share the kitchen and we each have our specialties. He often does the cooking for our dinner parties.

Brasato served with creamy polenta and sugar snap peas

Brasato served with creamy polenta and sugar snap peas

Where's the Beef?

If you have family members or guests in your home that crave delicious beef dinners and you wish to satisfy them with an Italian-style, home-cooked meal that offers succulent and well-developed flavors, then this is a recipe for you. They will no longer be wondering, "where's the beef"... and will quite possibly be asking for repeats of this recipe soon!

Brasato is the perfect make-ahead type of meal, and this preparation is better when prepared at least one day in advance of serving it.

We generally refrigerate the meat and sauce (after being cooked) in separate containers overnight. The meat is much easier to slice when cold and fat can be skimmed from the surface of the sauce.

After this has been accomplished, simply cover the sliced beef with the wine and vegetable sauce and reheat in a covered dish prior to serving.

This makes it a perfect company dish with most of the work being done ahead of time. Simply add your side dishes and voilà!

Prepare yourself for many compliments!

Some of the ingredients readied for the brasato preparation

Some of the ingredients readied for the brasato preparation

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

3 hours

3 hours 45 min

6 to 8 servings

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Delishably


  • 3 to 4 pounds beef, chuck or shoulder roast
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for dredging meat
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (mixture of butter and bacon fat may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, regular or lite, preferred
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sage, finely chopped
  • 1 full-sized bottle (750 ml) red wine


  1. Take the meat out of the package and dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat and dredge the meat in a mixture of flour and paprika.
  2. Brown the meat in a mixture of olive oil and butter or bacon fat in a large oven-safe casserole or pan.
  3. When meat is crusty brown on both sides, remove to a platter.
  4. Add the chopped onion and celery to the pan and sauté over low to medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Next add the garlic, parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir to combine.
  6. At this point, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine.
  7. When combined, stir in 1 cup of wine and boil over high heat until the wine is reduced by at least one-half. Stir occasionally during the reduction.
  8. Pour in remaining wine, adding the beef back into the mixture.
  9. Cover and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 3 hours or until very tender.
  10. Turn the meat every hour while cooking.
  11. When done, slice the meat and serve with the sauce. If the sauce is too thin, boil to reduce to the consistency you desire. (This is where we stop and refrigerate the meat and sauce separately as noted at the be served another day. The flavors get even better and for those people watching their calories, it can be de-fatted before being reheated and served. This also freezes well!)

Red Wine

In Italy, this recipe is often made with Barolo wine. It is also excellent and less expensive when made with Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, or any full bodied red wine.

Serve the same varietal used for cooking, but not necessarily the same wine depending upon your budget.

Buon Appetito!

So many things can accompany this delicious brasato beef entrée, all depending upon your personal preferences. The day that I took these photos, we had creamy polenta and sugar snap peas, plus a fresh-tossed salad as side dishes to this meal.

Be forewarned... on a scale of one to 10, the fragrance of the enticing aromas coming from your kitchen will rate a good 12 or more!

Enjoy and buon appetito!

Another Version of This Recipe

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Related Articles