Strozzapreti al Sugo di Carne

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For a while there, I was absolutely addicted to the Sugo di Carne that they had at Pastaria at the North Market. Rich in depth and flavor, it knocked my socks off. So much so that I would special order it all the time. Then they changed chefs, and used pork (?!?) instead of beef, and instead of rocking it sucked so much that I returned all $50 of that week’s order. So I quickly went through Sugo di Carne withdrawal, and hoped that somewhere, someday, I’d either encounter that chef who made the rockin’ sugo or a recipe that would come close. After a few false starts, I found a similar recipe. :) I’ve made it twice this week, even had it tonight for dinner with family over, and everyone agrees that this recipe is a winner. I’m submitting it to be part of the Bookmarked Recipes event over at Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments.

Homemade Sugo di Carne

Strozzapreti al Sugo di Carne
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

6 tbsp. butter, divided
5-6 lb chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 750-ml bottle Chianti or other fruity red wine
1 28-oz. can peeled tomatoes with juice
1 c. brewed espresso (I used instant granules with hot water instead)
1 lb. strozzapreti

Preheat oven to 400F. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in large ovenproof pot over medium high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook beef until browned, about 4 minutes per batch.

Transfer beef to large bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 5 tbsp. butter to pot and melt. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pot. Add wine, tomatoes with juice, and espresso. Bring to boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Braise beef until tender, about 2 hours. Using two forks, break beef apart into more managable chunks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Stir into beef mixture and serve.

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