In her fifth cookbook, Giada at Home, Giada de Laurentiis brings her signature combo of traditional Italian dishes, like this Chianti-Marinated Beef Stew, and boldly simple California flavors, such as Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad, to a new level—and there are, of course, a few glimpses of her signature d├ęcolletage, too. She covers the dining spectrum from appetizers to desserts, with stops for soups and sandwiches, pasta, robust mains, veggies, salads and a chapter on the all-American brunch, now with a hint of an Italian accent.

4 to 6 servings

This homey one-pot meal is reminiscent of the stews you find in Tuscany and Umbria, which are loaded with vegetables, potatoes, and herbs. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a dish to serve to a crowd; the succulent stew can simmer for a long time—the sauce just becomes richer and more intense—and it’s hard to believe you can get so much flavor from a relatively inexpensive piece of meat. Just be sure to use a Chianti that’s good enough to serve along with the meal.

1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) beef brisket
1 (750 ml) bottle Chianti wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
6 ounces green beans, halved
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 fresh sage leaves
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium beef broth

Place the beef in a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Pour the wine over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours, turning once halfway through.

Remove the meat from the wine and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the wine.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.

Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the meat to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the pancetta to the Dutch oven.

Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, olives, green beans, potatoes, rosemary, and sage.

Cook for 3 minutes. Pour the reserved wine, tomatoes, and beef broth into the pan, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the meat to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.

Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

Remove the meat and the rosemary and sage from the stew. Put the meat on a cutting board and cut into quarters.

Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Add the shredded meat to the stew and heat to warm through before serving, about 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Giada at Home (Crown Publishing Group 2010).

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