This recipe was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004.

Marcella Hazan's Novarese Beef Pot Roast

INGREDIENTS: (Serves four, or two with leftovers)

2 to 3 pound (1 kilo) beef chuck roast
4 tablespoons (60ml) olive oil
4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
1 ounce (30g) pancetta
4 to 6 anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil
Black pepper


NOTE: Marcella calls for a 2 1/2 pound piece of boneless beef chuck, but I had a 3-pound bone-in chuck roast handy, and it worked fine. I think beef cooked on the bone is more flavorful anyway.

1. Peel the garlic, cut the pancetta into small pieces, and open the can of anchovies. Put the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, pancetta and anchovies into a heavy dutch oven or oven-safe casserole large enough to hold the beef, and put it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquids blend.

2. Put in the beef and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the meat every few minutes. Add a little of the water if the liquid starts drying out, but you shouldn't need much: This dish braises on the stove top with only a little liquid.

3. Season the meat with a good ration of freshly ground black pepper, but I advise against salting at this point - the anchovies, Dijon and pancetta bring quite a bit of salt to the party, and it's too easy to overdo. I suggest waiting until serving time to check and adjust seasoning.

4. Cover the pot, reduce heat to the lowest possible setting, and cook for at least two hours or until the beef is tender. Turn it occasionally and watch the liquid, adding a little water if it starts to dry out. I find, though, that the beef gives off enough liquid that this shouldn't be necessary.

5. Take out the beef and slice a few serving pieces across the grain. Turn up heat and reduce the liquid somewhat if it seems thin, and serve it poured over the meat. I served the meat with a mashed-potato and cauliflower puree and the Baked Cabbage and Parmesan Cheese, Verza Gratinata al Parmigiano from Marcella says ...

MATCHING WINE: The hearty beef and bold flavors that infuse the dish call for a lusty, tannic red, and the modest but full-bodied Madara 2001 Alicante from Spain filled the bill. A little too tannic for enjoyment on its own, it stood up nicely to the beef.

ORDER MARCELLA'S NEW BOOK ONLINE is currently offering Marcella says ... on sale for $17.97, which 40 percent off the $29.95 list price. For more information or to purchase the book, click
If you use this exact link to buy, we'll earn a small commission at