Brasato al Barolo

Brasato al Barolo (Braised Beef in Barolo Wine)

As we continue our culinary journey through the vast and delectable world of Italian cuisine, I am thrilled to introduce you to another delicious meat dish. Italy is known for its wide variety of meat dishes, each with unique flavors and techniques that make them truly special. Today, I want to take you on a culinary adventure to the region of Piedmont, renowned for its hearty and flavorsome dishes, and introduce you to “Brasato al Barolo” or Braised Beef in Barolo Wine.

The story behind my encounter with this sumptuous dish is as rich as the dish itself. Several years ago, during a frosty winter visit to the hilly landscapes of Piedmont, I found myself in a small, rustic osteria in the heart of the Langhe – the wine country of Piedmont. Nestled amidst sprawling vineyards, the osteria was a beacon of warmth and comfort, welcoming weary travelers with the promise of a hearty meal.

The osteria, a converted old farmhouse, had a large open fireplace that crackled cheerfully, spreading warmth throughout the room. The scent of roasting meat, simmering sauces, and aromatic herbs filled the air. I was immediately drawn to the special of the day – Brasato al Barolo – a slow-cooked beef dish, simmered in Barolo, a robust red wine that the region is famous for.

The result was a melt-in-your-mouth beef dish, with a rich, deep flavor that only hours of slow cooking can achieve. The wine had transformed into a luscious, aromatic sauce that beautifully complemented the tender beef. Served with creamy polenta and a glass of Barolo, it was the epitome of comfort food, a perfect meal for a chilly winter night.

Now, allow me to share this memorable Piedmontese dish with you. Cozy up, pour yourself a glass of good wine, and let’s get cooking!

Brasato al Barolo

Brasato al Barolo (Braised Beef in Barolo Wine)

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1.5 kg beef roast such as chuck or rump roast
  • 1 bottle Barolo wine
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • warm polenta for serving


  • The night before cooking, place the beef in a large bowl and pour over the Barolo wine. Add one chopped onion, one chopped carrot, a celery stalk, two minced garlic cloves, the bay leaves, and thyme. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, remove the beef from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Pat the beef dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large, heavy-based pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
  • In the same pot, add the remaining onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are softened.
  • Return the beef to the pot, along with the reserved marinade and herbs. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low heat for about 3-4 hours, or until the beef is very tender and the flavors are well developed.
  • Once cooked, remove the beef from the pot and let it rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, strain the sauce and return it to the pot to keep it warm.
  • Slice the beef and serve it with the warm sauce and a side of creamy polenta.

A dish like Brasato al Barolo is more than just a meal; it’s a journey through the rich culinary landscape of Italy. So, I hope you enjoy this taste of Piedmont as much as I do! Buon appetito!

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