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There are very few things in this world that are more comforting than red wine braised beef. The depth of flavor is phenomenal, and the low and slow cooking time that braising requires means fork-tender meat. Pair it with some creamy, cheesy polenta or mashed potatoes and you've got a meal perfect for date night, or impressing the partners at your next dinner party.
While I tend to bust out this meal on any rainy day, there's something particularly special about it during cold winter months. It just feels perfect, especially if it's blizzarding outside and you've got a long lazy Saturday ahead of you. Nothing about this meal is hard, but it does take some planning ahead. The beef needs to braise for almost four hours so it becomes fork tender.
Red wine braised beef is the perfect meal to impress your friends and family. Rich in flavor and texture, the beef just falls apart after braising and simmering in the red wine all afternoon.
P.S. You can definitely make this without the wine - just substitute the red wine in this recipe with equal amounts of (extra) broth.
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Braised beef is beef cooked slowly in some type of flavorful liquid, often with other aromatics.
Depending on the size of the cut you're using, between 3-5 hours.
There's lots of different cuts to use, but some of the best are chuck roasts, short-ribs, and beef cheeks.
Something full bodied and bold, like a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Zinfandel. If you want something a little lighter, try Pinot Noir.
The Best Cuts of Beef to Use
For me, there's really two choices for braised beef: a chuck roast (or a blade roast), or short ribs. Both work really really well in this recipe. They're fatty cuts, so after three or four hours of braising low and slow, the meat completely brakes down for that fall-off-the-bone texture. The flavor also pairs beautifully with red wine.
Beef cheeks are also a popular choice. I haven't personally tried this, but it's on my list.
We're working with a slightly longer list for this dish, because we really want to develop those deep and complex flavors. Nothing is to out there though, so don't worry.
- Chuck roast - I had to go to a butcher shop for this cut because I couldn't find it at my local grocery stores. It's worth it if you have to go hunt it down though, seriously. If you can't find chuck roast use short ribs.
- Onion and garlic - all about that flavor.
- Carrots and celery - developing the base for the braising liquid.
- Red wine - I would use something dry and full bodied here, like a Chianti.
- Beef stock - again, depth of flavor
- Rosemary, thyme and bay leaves - these herbs are absolutely incredible with the red wine and the beef. Don't skip on them!
How to Make Braised Beef
Making braised beef isn't super difficult, but you definitely need to plan ahead. Obviously anything that needs four hours in the oven you're going to need the time to prep long before you're actually serving it. But let's go through this step-by-step.
First, liberally season your roast with salt and pepper. If you can do this 30-60 minutes before you plan on cooking it, all the better. Remove the strings from the roast as well. We want this to fall apart, not hold it's shape!
Sear the beef on all sides, 2-4 minutes per side, until it's deeply browned (I love using my Dutch oven for this recipe). Remove the roast from the cast iron skillet.
Add your onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring often for 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on this, as the browned beef bits tend to burn. If this is happening, add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze.
Add your wine and broth. If you want to make this recipe without wine, that's totally fine. Just swap it for more stock.
Add your herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Return the roast to the pan, nestling it in among the vegetable. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover with a lid, and place in the oven at 300F, and braise for four hours. Remove from the oven, and carve and serve with some of the braising liquid.
My favourite way to use this beef is just to pile it on top of some polenta or mashed potatoes, and spoon some of the delicious braising liquid over top. However, there's no end to the different ways you can use this beef. Put it in a pasta, use it in tacos, or make the most delicious sandwich ever. It's also great in ravioli, enchiladas, or in a casserole!
Other Delicious Beef Recipes
Braised Beef (with Red Wine)
- Dutch Oven
- 4 lb chuck roast
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks roughly chopped
- 2 C beef broth
- 1½ C red wine
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Preheat your oven to 300°F.
- Season your roast liberally with salt and pepper.
- Heat your Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil.
- Sear the roast until deep brown on all sides, about 2-4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
- Add your garlic, onion, carrots and onions, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the wine and broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the herbs and the bay leaves. Add salt and pepper. Return the roast to the pan, and nestle it into liquid, until the liquid comes about halfway up the roast.
- Cover, and braise in the oven for 4 hours.
- Carve, and serve with some of the braising liquid.