Red Wine-Braised Beef

Peter Pastan loves the beef flatiron (or top blade) steak from the shoulder because it stays tender and flavorful after long braising, unlike the brisket or round roast, which can get stringy. At the Piedrasassi harvest dinner, he marinated the meat in just-picked and crushed Syrah grapes; in this recipe, table grapes work just as well. More Recipes with Red Wine

Red Wine-Braised Beef
Photo: © Victoria Pearson
Active Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins



  • 1 cup crushed red grapes with seeds

  • 5 garlic cloves (smashed)

  • 5 parsley sprigs

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 rosemary sprig

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 small dried red chile (crushed)

  • 1 whole 5-pound beef flatiron roast with membrane and fat layer (see Note)


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)

  • 5 garlic cloves (smashed)

  • 4 small carrots (sliced 1/2-inch thick)

  • 3 celery ribs (sliced 1 inch thick)

  • 3 -inch strips of orange zest

  • 2 cups fruity red wine, such as a Syrah

  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish, combine the grapes, garlic cloves, parsley, bay leaves, rosemary, olive oil, salt and chile. Add the flatiron roast, turning to coat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning a few times.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325°. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade through a food mill and reserve. Set a medium flameproof roasting pan over moderately high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes; transfer to a plate.

  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the roasting pan along with the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and orange-zest strips. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine, bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the reserved marinade. Add the beef and cover with foil. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and braise the meat for about 2 1/2 hours, turning once halfway through, until very tender.

  4. Transfer the beef to a carving board and thickly slice across the grain. Arrange the beef on a platter. Skim any fat from the braising liquid; spoon the liquid over the meat with some of the vegetables and serve.


The beef flatiron is usually precut and sold as individual steaks. This whole flatiron roast will need to be ordered from the butcher in advance.

Serve With

Farro with Pancetta.

Suggested Pairing

Serve this luscious beef with more of the wine it was braised in—which, at this dinner, means Syrah. The licorice hints in Moorman's Holus Bolus make it particularly intriguing; another terrific Syrah to try is the peppery Jelly Roll, a boutique label owned by Jim Knight.

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