Manzo Brasato al Vino Rosso

Manzo Brasato al Vino Rosso (mahn-dzoh brah-zah-toh ahl vee-noh roh-soh), beef braised in red wine with vegetables, is a simple and easy-to-make Italian dish, perfect for a dinner party. Serve with croquette potatoes and a crisp green or tomato salad.

2 lb. top rump of beef, rolled and tied

2 garlic cloves, halved

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced celery stalks, trimmed and chopped small carrots, scraped and sliced

3 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon ground cloves

10 fl. oz. Italian red wine

1 tablespoon beurre manie

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Rub the beef all over with the garlic and discard the garlic. Rub over the salt and pepper and set the beef aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter with the oil over moderately high heat. When the foam subsides, add the beef and brown it, turning the meat over frequently with two large forks, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it is evenly browned on all sides.

With the two forks, remove the beef from the casserole and set it aside. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the onion, celery and carrots. Fry them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Stir in the tomatoes and cloves. Return the beef to the casserole and pour over the wine. Bring the liquid to the boil and remove the casserole from the heat.

Cover the casserole tightly and place it in the centre of the oven. Braise the meat for 3 hours, or until it is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven. With two large forks, lift the meat out of the casserole, and place it on a serving dish. Set aside and keep warm.

With a metal spoon, skim off any fat from the surface of the sauce. Pour the sauce through a fine wire strainer into a small saucepan. With the back of a wooden spoon, press down well on the vegetables to extract all the juices. Put the pan over high heat and bring the sauce to the boil. Boil the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and add the beurrc manic, a small piece at a time, stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a sauceboat. Serve immediately, with the beef.

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