Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.
Braised Beef Brasato
Carrabba's Beef Brasato
3 pounds beef, either rump roast or a similar cut, not too lean or it will be dry
A bottle of Barolo or similar full bodied red wine
1 large onion, or 2 if you prefer
1 large carrot
1 stalk of celery
1 bay leaf
Peppercorns to taste
2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons prosciutto fat (if need be use just 4 tablespoons butter)
Salt to taste
Marinate the Meat: Begin the day before you plan to cook the meat. Slice the onion, celery, and carrot, and put them in a bowl with the meat, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Pour the wine over the mixture and marinate it until the next day, turning the meat occasionally.
Make the Sauce: Remove the meat, reserving the marinade, and pat the meat dry. Strain the marinade, bring it to a boil, and cook it until it's reduced by half.
Sear and Braise Meat: In the meantime, tie the meat with string so it keeps its shape and brown it in a pot with the butter and prosciutto fat. Once it's well browned on all sides. Season the meat with salt, pour the reduced marinade over it, add the vegetables that it marinated with, cover everything, and simmer over a low flame until the meat is done, about two hours. When the meat is done remove it to a platter and remove the string. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and either put them through a food mill or blend them. Degrease the sauce, stir the blended vegetables back into it, pour it over the meat, and serve. The meat should be so tender it could be carved with a spoon.
Plating: Serve it with mashed potatoes or a steaming polenta, and the other vegetables you prefer. And, of course, a nice bottle of red wine.