Slow cooker pot roast with potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic
Stracotto, The Italian Pot Roast That's Flawlessly 'Overcooked'
In Italian, stracotto means "overcooked," but the pot roast-like dish named after this word is known for being meltingly tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor.
The origins of stracotto are debated, but it likely came from the region of Emilia-Romagna. There are regional variations on the dish, but the main components are the same.
The right cut of meat for it is one that can keep its structure after hours of cooking, but also be juicy and tender. Cuts like a thick flank and other shoulder cuts work well.
The flavor base of the dish is a soffritto, a trifecta of carrot, onion, and celery. Warm spices like cinnamon and clove amplify the flavor of the beef and cooking liquid.
The stracotto sauce is a combination of red wine, tomatoes, and beef stock. The amounts are up for interpretation, some recipes omit the stock in favor of more wine.
You’ll want to use a Dutch oven to cook this dish. Start by seasoning your beef with salt and then brown it on all sides in the pot over high heat, then remove it.
Add the other ingredients to the pot before baking or simmering the whole thing. Like all pot roasts, the meat may be considered "overcooked," but it remains moist and tender.