Red Wine-Braised Beef: A Comfort Food Classic

Red wine braised beef

If you’re in search of the ultimate comfort food meal, look no further than red wine-braised beef. This dish has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. There’s something about the rich flavors and tender meat that just warms the soul. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply enjoying a cozy night in, this recipe is sure to impress.

What is Braising?

Braising is a cooking technique that combines both wet and dry heat. The beef is first seared in a pan to develop flavor and color, and then it’s cooked slowly in the oven with a liquid. This low and slow cooking method results in incredibly tender meat. Braising is particularly effective for tougher cuts of meat like brisket, chuck, and pork shoulder. The slow cooking process allows the muscle tissue and collagen to break down, resulting in succulent and flavorful meat. While any liquid can be used for braising, adding red wine adds an extra depth of flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy: This recipe is not complicated. With a bit of chopping, mixing, and simmering, the oven does most of the work. It’s a hands-off recipe that leaves you free to focus on other tasks.
  • Budget-friendly: Beef chuck, the recommended cut for this recipe, is an affordable option that can feed a crowd. You can create an impressive meal without breaking the bank.
  • One Pot: I love a recipe that comes together in one pot. All the searing, sautéing, and braising is done in a dutch oven or braiser, making cleanup a breeze.
Further reading:  Smokin' BBQ: Perfecting Smoked Beef Short Ribs

How to Make Red Wine-Braised Beef

This recipe doesn’t require any special tools or ingredients. All you need are quality ingredients and time.

Tools Needed

  • Braiser with Lid
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Beef Chuck: Opt for a large piece with good marbling.
  • Vegetables: Onion, leeks, carrots, and garlic. You can also add celery and mushrooms.
  • Red Wine: Choose a bold red wine that you enjoy drinking, such as merlot, Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah.
  • Beef Stock: Homemade is best, but you can also use high-quality store-bought beef stock.
  • Herbs: Bay leaves and fresh thyme add extra flavor to the braised beef.

Red wine braised beef

Instructions

  1. Cube the beef into 3-4 inch pieces, ensuring they are not too small to prevent them from falling apart.
  2. Pat the beef dry and season all sides generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the beef on all sides until deeply golden brown.
  4. Remove the beef from the pan and add onions, leeks, and garlic. Cook the vegetables, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.
  5. Add the red wine and beef stock to the pan. Return the beef to the pan and nestle carrots around it. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  6. Bring everything to a simmer, cover the pan, and transfer it to the oven.
  7. Braise for about 3 hours until the beef is fork-tender. Skim off any excess fat from the top.
  8. Allow the beef to rest in the juices for at least 45 minutes. Gently re-warm on the stove before serving.

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Best Cuts of Beef for Red Wine-Braised Beef

Choosing the right cut of beef is crucial for achieving the best results in red wine-braised beef. The ideal cut should have enough fat and marbling to ensure flavor and prevent drying out. Here are some recommended cuts:

  • Beef Chuck: This flavorful and economical cut is perfect for braising. It’s well-marbled and stays moist during slow cooking.
  • Brisket: Another excellent option, brisket is both affordable and flavorful. It can be sectioned into the flat and the point, both of which work well for braising.
  • Short Ribs: Though more expensive, short ribs are incredibly flavorful when braised. They are a showstopper for special occasions.
Further reading:  The Perfect Mushroom Sauce for Steak

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Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Red Wine-Braised Beef

If you have leftovers, red wine-braised beef is easy to store and freeze.

To store red wine-braised beef: Let the beef and liquid cool to room temperature and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-6 days.

Freezing braised beef: Cool the beef and liquid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Remove excess air from the bag to prevent freezer burn. Label the bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheating: To reheat, place the beef and liquid in a skillet or dutch oven. Add a little beef broth or water if needed. Cover and simmer on low until the beef is tender and warmed through.

What to Serve with Red Wine-Braised Beef

If you’re serving red wine-braised beef for a special occasion or want to elevate your meal, consider pairing it with these delicious dishes:

  • Leafy Salad: Start your meal with a fresh kale Caesar salad. The homemade Caesar dressing complements the flavors of the braised beef.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Tender beef over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes is a classic combination. Try creme fraiche mashed potatoes or caramelized onion and bacon mashed potatoes for a twist. Horseradish mashed potatoes also add a tangy kick.
  • Dinner Rolls: Warm dinner rolls are perfect for sopping up any extra juices. Try fluffy homemade dinner rolls for a comforting addition.
  • Dessert: No meal is complete without dessert. Treat yourself and your guests to an almond ricotta cake, skillet apple crisp, or decadent Texas sheet cake.

Explore More Braising Recipes

If you’ve fallen in love with the art of braising, here are some more recipes you can try:

  • Beer-Braised Carnitas Tacos
  • Coconut Milk-Braised Chicken
  • Instant Pot Italian Beef
  • Beer-Braised Brisket
Further reading:  The Most Exclusive Ingredient in Japan: Unlocking the Secrets of Wagyu Beef

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