When we were dating, I started to experiment more with cooking. I had begun to cook for myself during college, but it was more of a necessity than anything else. Dating Claire allowed my cooking experience to become something that I truly enjoyed.
I remember wanting to try something out of my comfort zone, and so I settled on braising beef with wine. It was the first time I ever cooked with wine, and the smell of wine cooking, is…really quite something. What I mean to say is that it is one of the BEST SMELLS EVER CREATED. I loosely followed a recipe I found online (that I cannot find to this day, of course), and since I did not have a Dutch oven, I used a large covered soup pot cooked over low heat on the stove top.
The meat was finished, and I was in awe of how tender it was, especially since I couldn’t even pull it out of the pot without it breaking apart. But now the real challenge was ahead: making a sauce. I strained the vegetables and reduced the broth-wine down. Almost by accident, I let it go too long. It was a deep, dark red color and I thought I had screwed it all up. All my hours of planning had come down to…an unbelievable, full bodied, tasty sauce. I couldn’t wait to share it with Claire!
Since then I have become (a little) less clumsy in the kitchen, and I have created a base recipe for braising beef. The sauce never comes out the same way twice, and that is a good thing! I use this recipe as a roadmap, and I like to try something different each time. This is a perfect cozy meal when you’re stuck inside on a cold day – I hope you enjoy it!
Braised Beef with a Red Wine Reduction Sauce
For a printable version of this recipe, click here.
1 chuck roast, 3-4 pounds
1 carrot, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 sweet onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes (or a 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes)
3 cups red wine, divided
3 cups bone broth, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano
freshly ground black pepper
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