In every Italian home, in every trattoria, braised beef and mashed potatoes are a staple. What we’re proposing is a simple but gourmet version by chef Niko Romito (and published in Unforketable.it, edited by Elisia Menduni and published by Giunti Editore, 20 euros, giunti. it). Romito explains his method.
“Braised beef with mashed potatoes dressed with olive oil is a tasty and reassuring winter dish, all of which based on slow cooking, the aromas of the wine and the softening of the meat. The mashed potatoes are made with an innovative recipe. With this method, when the potatoes are done and fragrant, they taste better. I put the raw potatoes in a food processor, then I rinse them in water until it turns clear, and I end by cooking them in milk and olive oil. When the potatoes are cooked, I put them in a stand mixer while still hot and blend them, incorporating air and volume. The outcome is a hearty dish you’ll love because of its intense flavor."
Here are the ingredients for this recipe:
500 g (1.1 lb) bottom round of beef
500 g (17 fl. oz) red wine
50 g (1.7 oz) carrots
40 g (1.4 oz) celery
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 sprig rosemary
1/2 stick cinnamon
10 g (0.35 oz) rice starch
20 g (0.7 fl. oz) water
extra virgin olive oil
For the mashed potatoes:
160 g (5.4 fl. oz) milk
100 g (3.5 oz) potatoes
45 g (1.4 fl. oz) extra virgin olive oil
1. Rub salt and pepper on all sides of the beef.
2. Heat a little oil in a nonstick pan and brown the meat on all sides.
3. Trim and coarsely chop the onion, carrot and celery.
4. To tone down the alcohol in the red wine, heat it for a few minutes and bring it to a boil.
5. In another pot, sauté the celery, carrot, onion and an unpeeled clove of garlic. Add the meat and pour in the red wine to cover.
6. Add the rosemary and cinnamon, and cover with a disk of parchment paper. Cook for about 3 1/2 hours.
7. Remove the beef from the sauce. When cool, cut into slices about 3/8” thick.
8. Filter the sauce through a sieve.
9. To make the mashed potatoes: peel the potatoes and chop them coarsely in a food processor.
10. Rinse quickly and add the potatoes to cold water to remove the excess starch. Filter.
11. Put the milk and oil in a pan, heat and add the potatoes. Cook on very low heat, stirring constantly to keep the potatoes from sticking, until the liquid has cooked off and the potatoes are very soft.
12. Put the warm potatoes in a stand mixer and whip. Before serving, put the mashed potatoes in a small pan and heat.
13. Dilute the rice starch with water in a small cup. Heat the sauce, stir in the starch (the more starch you use, the thicker the sauce) and bring to a boil.
14. As soon as the sauce is creamy, turn it off. Heat the sliced beef. To serve, spoon the potatoes on a plate with the beef and pour the sauce over the top.