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Manzo Alla Lombarda - Beef Roast

No recipe image available.This roast is a classic for Sunday dinner and will fill the house with good smells. Easy preparation, but fancy presentation. Recipe courtesy of Kathleen Taggart.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 thin slices Pancetta (Italian bacon, unsmoked), cut into narrow strips
1 (4 to 5 pound) sirloin tip roast
2 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib with leaves, chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 (16-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped, juice discarded or used for another purpose
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef or other stock

Cooking Directions:

  1. If you can't find Pancetta, use regular smoked bacon, but blanch it in boiling water for 5 minutes to remove some of its smoke flavor.
  2. Mix the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper together. (If you are using canned broth or bouillon cubes go very easy on the salt at this point!) Toss the seasonings with the bacon strips.
  3. Make deep incisions all around the roast using a thin, sharp knife such as a boning or filet knife. Insert pieces of the bacon in the incisions.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  5. In a heavy oven-proof braising pan heat 1 tablespoon each of the butter and olive oil. Brown the roast well on all sides. Remove from the pan and add the remaining butter and olive oil if needed.
  6. Sauté the onion, carrot and celery for about 10 minutes until they are soft. Using a slotted spoon remove the vegetables from the pan and pour out most of the fat.
  7. With the pan on the heat pour in the wine and deglaze the pan by stirring and scraping up the browned fragments. Reduce the wine to 1/2 cup. Add the cooked vegetables and place the roast on top of them. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and place in a 350°F oven to continue cooking for about 2 hours. Cook until the meat is fork tender.
  8. When the meat is tender remove it to a carving board, cover with foil for a few minutes to rest, then slice.
  9. Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl. Skim off the fat and cook over high heat to reduce and thicken the sauce. I like to purée the vegetables until smooth, then add them to the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  10. Pour some sauce over the meat and pass the remainder in a gravy boat.

Makes 8 servings.