It is rare that I have time to spend hours in the kitchen. It is also rare for me to want to make meat on a weekday. But I guess that is what happens when you take a week off of work! So I decided to make a nice slow cooked dinner and experiment in the kitchen. Because of that this red wine beef with rice was created.
Louisiana Inspiration – Rice and Gravy
When we first started dating my husband lived in Louisiana. His two roommates were from small Louisiana towns and always made rice and gravy. Rice and gravy is made with beef and cooked low and slow. It is combined with vegetables (the Holy Trinity being a staple in Cajun cooking) and beef broth served over rice. My husband swears the Magnalite pot they use to cook with is the secret. Whatever it is it was what he was craving for dinner when I suggested a slow cooked beef.
But I didn’t want to cook Cajun. I wanted to use some red wine to infuse my beef. I also wanted a lot of onions. Recently I had made my creamy onion soup for Christmas Eve and I was inspired by that. And then my mind went to Beef Bourgnion and I thought BACON! So while this seems like random inspirations they all pulled together to make a super flavorful dish.
Prepping and Cooking Low and Slow
This recipe by no means is hard to make. It just takes a long time to cook because you want the beef to cook in the broth/wine mixture until it is literally falling apart.
A few keys to make this a successful dish:
- Take your meat out of the fridge well before cooking – I take my meat out a good half hour before cooking. This takes the chill off and helps the meat cook more evenly versus the inside being very cold since the chuck roast is a thick piece of meat.
- Caramelize your meat first – that means searing it over medium high after it’s seasoned LIBERALLY with salt and pepper. I mean you want to see a lot of those spices on your meat to help form a crust. And when I say all sides I don’t mean the large sides of the meat only. I mean the sides of the chuck as well. And let the meat sit on the heat for a few minutes before moving it around. If it sticks to the pan still it’s not ready to flip.
- DON’T wash the pan after you cook the meat – you see all those brown bits left that you think might get stuck to the bottom of the pan? Those bits are flavor bombs. And once you add the red wine if you have a wooden spoon start scraping them up. They will pull right up into the wine and make your sauce even better.
- Make sure you have time to cook the meat – the longer the better. It’s cooking in the sauce so your meat won’t dry out. I cooked mine for two and half hours. And I only checked on it once to flip it over. By that time when I went to pick the meat up out of the pan it was falling apart in my tongs.
The Hard Part – What to Serve Over?
Because my husband asked for rice and gravy and I pretty much went rouge and did something else I decided to compromise and make rice. And since I was going Italian style I knew this beef would compliment my parmesan rice perfectly. I made a few modifications for this version of the rice though:
- Omit the lemon
- Swap out the oregano for a few sprigs of fresh thyme since it was also used in the beef
You most certainly could serve this over egg noodles or potatoes though. If you are on a low carb meal plan a cauliflower mash would work as well. Or even a baguette of crusty bread to sop up all those juices would be nice.
This red wine beef with rice is a perfect meal for when you have the time for the meat to cook. Your belly and family will thank you. And your house will smell delicious for the hours the meat is cooking!
And remember, if you try this recipe be sure to rate it and leave a comment below and let me know how you like it. Or tag me on Instagram!
- 6–8 slices of bacon (I usually just make a whole pack but we like bacon!)
- 2–2.5 lb chuck roast
- 4 yellow onions, cut in half then thinly sliced
- 6 whole cloves of garlic
- 2 carrots, cut in half (I just wash it really well and don’t bother peeling since you won’t be eating it!)
- 2 stalks of celery, cut in half
- 1/4 c flour
- 3 c red wine (Chianti would be my go to here, and make sure it’s something you would drink)
- 2 c beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 parmesan cheese rinds
- small handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- Take chuck roast out of the fridge about a half hour before cooking, season liberally on all sides with salt and pepper
- Pre heat oven to 325
- In a large dutch oven or a soup pan that can transfer from stove to oven cook bacon over medium heat. Alternately, I choose to cook my bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet at 415 for about 15 minutes. Whatever method you use remove one peice of bacon when it’s half cooked and set aside.
- Once bacon is cooked remove from pan but leave about 3 TBS of the bacon fat in the pan, turn heat to medium-medium high and sear the roast on all sides. The roast should be a nice caramel brown color.
- Once meat is seared (it will not be cooked and still very rare inside), remove and set aside
- DO NOT WASH PAN (the brown bits are the best part!). Turn heat to medium, add 1 TBS of olive oil or more bacon fat. Add in onions, garlic, carrots and celery into the pan. Let cook a few minutes so onions start to soften
- Next add in flour. Stir around and let cook a few minutes to get the raw flavor out
- Add in wine and turn up heat to medium high. Scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Let the wine come to a gentle boil and cook out and reduce a few minutes
- Add in broth, herbs (tie them up together with kitchen twine so they are easier to fish out later!), parmesan rinds, beef broth, beef and the half cooked piece of bacon
- Move to oven and cook 2.5 hours until the beef easily falls apart
- Discard herb bundle, parmesan rinds, carrots and celery
- Remove beef and shred with two forks, add back to the sauce and serve over rice (see cooking tips in post) topped with the fresh Italian parsley and reserved bacon
I use a 5 quart dutch oven but if you do not have a dutch oven an oven safe soup pot would work as well.
Keywords: beef, Italian, roast, red wine, dinner