Nana’s Italian Pot Roast: A sensational classic filled with tons of great Italian flavors and spice. This will become a favorite dinner in your home.
A great bottle of wine makes the best Italian dishes. I consider myself an expert on this. That’s because I think my husband might be Italian, and he just doesn’t know it. No one person can love Italian food so much without having those roots somewhere. Because of this love, we have tried tons of Italian restaurants in Chicago, and I have cooked more pasta and bolognese in my day than most people but this Nana’s Italian Pot Roast is extra special.
Several years ago when my husband and I were still courting (that means dating for all the youngins), we frequented a restaurant in Chicago that served a dish called Nana’s Gravy. The name was the catch for me. Anything with grandmother in the title immediately strikes a cord. It was a delicious slowly braised beef in an indulgent tomato sauce over rigatoni. I like to think of it as Italian Pot Roast. It is absolutely delicious. When we started spending a bit too much money to order this dish whenever the craving struck us, I tried recreating it at home and calling it Nana’s Italian Pot Roast. By the third time, I had a fantastic rendition that we happen to think revels the original. It is now an Adams classic.
Just imagine beef so tender that it falls off the bone submerged in a decadent crushed tomato sauce filled with caramelized onions, garlic, Italian seasonings, chicken stock and wine. And not just any wine. Let me tell you about this wine.
Love Cork Screw, a Chicago based company, is doing big thangs in the wine game here. They happened to be a sponsor for my event A Charitable Confection this year, and all I heard from guests was how incredible their wine was.
Everyone definitely agrees because in the course of one year, this savvy wine company (with the cleverest and cutest bottle names) has expanded to several grocery and speciality liquor stores across the city. I used their 2005 Cabernet “Moving On Up” in this recipe, and it really brought out the intense flavors and deliciousness of the beef.
I learned a great tip from the amazing Ina Garten. She has always said to only cook with wines that you would drink, and this is a wine I definitely enjoy drinking so it was right at home in this recipe.
I served Nana’s Italian Pot Roast over some cooked rigatoni, and we ate like royalty. This is a recipe you can make for date night, special occasions or even this New Year’s. It is spectacular and definitely worth the 4 hour slow roast time. And remember, the fun part is celebrating with a glass of wine after your feast is complete!
Disclaimer: I was not paid to share any information about Love Cork Screw. I am a true believer in their products. All opinions are my own.
- 2 pounds pot roast, beef shanks or short ribs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- ⅓ cup red wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning and herbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- Garnish: chopped parsley and parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Liberally season both sides of beef with salt and pepper. Don't be shy. They will need lots of flavor.
- Add olive oil to large pot over medium high heat on stove.
- Once olive oil is hot, add beef to pot and deeply brown on all sides then remove from pot.
- Scrap the bottom of the pan to get the flavor back into the oil. Next add chopped onion and sweat them for a few minutes until they start to soften and turn golden.
- Add in minced garlic and only cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, and chicken stock. Stir in Italian seasoning, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Bring sauce to a simmer.
- Lastly return browned beef to pot and submerge in the sauce.
- Bake covered for 3½- 4½ hours or until beef is cooked through, tender and falling off the bone and sauce has thickened. This will depend on the thickness of beef.
- Remove pot from oven and gently ladle the oil off the top of the sauce which has settled. Simmer over medium low heat to thicken sauce.
- Cook pasta according to instructions on package and drain.
- Serve completed gravy by adding pasta to serving platter, topping with meat and gravy and garnishing with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.