With temps this past weekend dipping into the mid teens, it was time for me to prepare a hearty dinner to keep us warm. I decided on making a beef pot roast, utilizing a recipe I had seen on PBS by famed Italian chef, Lidia Bastianich. After braising, Lidia cooked her beef pot roast in a slow oven (250F degrees) for several hours immersed in two bottles of very expensive Italian Barola wine. (click here for the recipe) Sometimes I think Lidia forgets her roots of growing up as a poor Italian peasant. Lidia loves to pour on the Locatelli cheese (super expensive) and her Barola red wine price tag can make any cook choke. (some bottles can be priced upwards to $100). NO THANKS! No worries. Any decent red wine will do in this recipe and no cheese is required.
As a fellow Italian, I DO remember what it was like growing up when money was tight. Italians could always find a way to rustle up a meal with some hearty, yet inexpensive ingredients to feed themselves and their families.
This recipe calls for three 750millimeter bottles of red Barola wine. I used only two cups of Carlo Rossi red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon (@$16.99 for four liters! click here) and 1.5 cups of beef broth for a three pound, bottom round beef roast (@$12.71) I stuck fairly well to Lidia’s recipe. She is, IMHO, the best chef around. I didn’t have any porcini mushrooms on hand this time BUT the recipe turned out so well, it’s going to be a family staple. So, I’ll have the mushrooms next time!
I made a side dish of freshly mashed potatoes. Gosh, you needed something on your plate to soak up all the fabulous red wine sauce. I also added a half package of frozen peas right before serving. When I looked at the finished recipe, I thought it needed something ‘green’ to make the color palette more interesting (and tasty!).
Not to forget about a dessert, I baked a plain yellow cake, box recipe (@.85 cents), topped it off with some frozen berries I had in the freezer, left over from the summer, that I heated up with a half cup of sugar, then cooled. A dab of whipped cream and dessert was served. And yes, hubby and I did have a side glass each of that Carlo Rossi wine.
Side Note: almost all my recipe ingredients came from Aldi.
STAY TUNED: NOVEMBER 12TH I’M PART OF A SOUP SWAP TEAM. LOOK FOR MY TAKE ON THE CLASSIC MINESTRONE SOUP, ITALIAN PRINCESS STYLE!