Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms

Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms is my all time favorite pot roast recipe that I love making for company to knock their socks off.  Stracoto actually means “overcooked” in Italian but that is because you let the meat cook slowly till it falls apart. This recipe also works in the crock pot too, on the low setting, but I prefer to sear it in my Le Cruset dutch oven pan and bake it in the oven for the 3 hours, as listed in the recipe.

The secret here is the Porcini mushrooms, which you can find dried in most any store, and also some great Italian red wine. The wine and the porcini really give the pot roast tenderness and smoky flavor. If you can’t find porcini, don’t make it (I will mail you some if need be!), as that is the key ingredient, you really cannot substitute any regular or other mushrooms here. I think my cousin even got me a big thing of porcini mushrooms at Costco or Sam’s once, so they are out there. You only need .05 ounces, so a small 1 oz pack (what I bought) will make two batches. I also used an immersion blender (no I am not all fancy and stuff, my hubby had one for his yummy protein shakes) to blend up the juice and mushrooms and onions into a nice thick gravy to put over the roast. Sometimes I skip this step and just spoon the juices and veggies over the meat.

I made it with my usual pot roast side, egg noodles (my dad’s favorite) and also with Grilled Ratatouille. Honestly I made the ratatouille because I love saying that word and it is my girls favorite movie. I have to say that it was one of the prettiest and tastiest dishes I have made as a side.  So if you need a new spin on your ancient pot roast recipe, check this one out, and serve it with potatoes or risotto in winter and some nice grilled ratatouille in the warmer weather.

Stracoto Con Porcini

1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 3/4 cups canned beef broth
1/2-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy 6-quart roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total cooking time. Transfer the beef to a bowl. Add remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, add the onions and saute until tender, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the wine and boil 1 minute. Stir in the broth and mushrooms. Return the beef to the pan. Bring the liquids to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until the beef is fork-tender, turning the beef over halfway through cooking, about 3 hours.

Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Tent the beef with foil and let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spoon any excess fat off the top of the pan juices. Transfer the pan juices and vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth. Combine the sauce and rosemary sprig in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Cut the beef across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the sliced beef on a platter and garnish with rosemary. Spoon the sauce over and serve, passing the remaining sauce in a sauce boat.

Grilled Ratatouille

2 zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise

2 yellow squash, cut into quarters lengthwise

2 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise

2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered

2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered

2 red onions, quartered

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place all cut vegetables and the tomatoes in a large shallow baking dish, add the 1/2 cup of olive oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Remove the tomatoes, cover grill, and cook the remaining vegetables for 2 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and coarsely chop (leave tomatoes whole). Place the chopped vegetables and tomatoes in a large bowl, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, oregano and parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve at room temperature.



5 Responses to “Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms”

  1. Vicki Campanella Says:

    So happy something so simple made you so happy, Tara….thanks for the shout out on the LeCruset pot! Dinner sounds absolutely amazing–we LOVE being treated to your delightful dinners when we visit! You LOVE cooking and do it so well…and you make your Mom and Dad so happy, too….keep up the great work….xoxo

  2. Tara Says:

    thanks Ki, so happy to have that big ‘ol pot, used to squish it in my little le cruset and it would be overflowing, have wanted one of those for so long, thank you! can’t wait to cook for you soon, gonna make you some killer picatta!

  3. cooler temps + tummy warming recipes = happy Tara « What Tara's Cookin' Says:

    […] the seasons are changing. Each year I make my staple recipes in the winter and fall, such as my Stracoto con Porcini or my Boston Marathon Chili, but this fall I am feeling inspired. I decided to try this Chicken-Corn […]

  4. let’s get roasted! « What Tara's Cookin' Says:

    […] tonight I am making one of my favorite go to recipes, Stracotto with porcini, or Italian pot roast. I have posted about this before here […]

  5. Who’s coming to Sunday Dinner? | What Tara's Cookin' Says:

    […] my hubby to pick up a pot roast at the grocery store, if you haven’t checked it out yet, try my amazing pot roast recipe I posted on here. I am very thankful when he does the grocery shopping for me so I don’t complain when he […]

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