Stracotto (Italian Sirloin Roast)
by Gisella Isidori, International Food & Travel Consultant, Gerenzano, Italy
In Italian, the term stracotto means “overcooked.” In fact, classic stracotto dishes are slow-cooked to fall-apart perfection. This recipe is no exception.
- 1 (32-ounce) Certified Piedmontese beef sirloin roast
- 12 juniper berries
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 carrots, chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 small white or yellow onions, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 sage leaves
- 6 cups beef, vegetable, or chicken broth
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
With a small knife, poke holes in the sirloin roast and insert juniper berries and garlic cloves. In a Dutch oven or other heavy-lidded pot, heat the oil to medium-high. (The pot should be able to hold the roast without a lot of extra room around it.) Season the roast with salt and pepper and brown it well on all sides.
Once browned, add wine, then carrots, red pepper flakes, sliced onions, celery, tomato paste, bay leaves, rosemary, and sage. Add enough broth to completely cover the roast, then bring mixture to a boil. Adjust heat so the liquid is barely simmering when covered.
Simmer, covered, until the meat is falling-apart tender, about 2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature is between 165°F and 170°F. The cooking time will depend on the shape of the roast, as flatter roasts cook faster than thicker roasts.
After cooking, season the roast and pan juices to taste. Then slice the roast and serve with the pan juices alongside potatoes, noodles, or polenta.