I make this braised roast using an old homemade red wine vinegar, but any good-quality commercial brand will lend the right zing to the sauce.
One 2-pound top round roast
2 cloves garlic, slivered
Fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Filippo Berio olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry red wine
Dry the roast well with paper towels. Make slits all over the roast and insert the garlic slivers. Rub the roast with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the roast slowly on all sides. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until they begin to wilt. Add the vinegar, parsley, basil, and carrot, and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix the tomato paste and wine together in a small bowl and add to the roast. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until a knife is easily inserted into the meat.
Remove the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the pan juices through a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Set the pot aside.
Cut the roast into ¼-inch slices. Return the meat to the pot, add the strained juices, and bring the juices to a simmer. Serve immediately, with some of the juices poured over the meat.
Note: For the flavor of Emilia-Romagna, substitute Balsamic Vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar.
This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.
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