Mom’s Italian Pot Roast

My Mom’s Italian pot roast is one of my favorite winter meals – beef slowly stewed in tomatoes, red wine, bayleaves, rosemary, and cloves served on a base of broiled polenta.  The only reason it has yet to make the blog is that I, personally, have only made it a couple of times, the creation of this delightful repast usually falls to my Mother.  Below you will find two recipes one for the pot roast and one for the polenta.  The pot roast can also be served over pasta, but there is something particularly satisfying about the creamy corn polenta base that has been lightly flavor with a pinch of cayenne and melted cheddar cheese.  Keep in mind that the pot roast is slowly cooked over the span of about four hour, perfect for heating up your kitchen on a cold winter afternoon, but you’ll have to plan accordingly.


Italian Pot Roast


  • thick cut of Beef (a chuck roast works nicely)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning
  • 1 diced Onion
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 6 Bay Leaves
  • 4 whole Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Rosemary
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • 2 cups Beef Broth


  1. Heat up the olive oil in the bottom of a heavy bottomed stew pot.  A dutch oven works nicely.
  2. Season the cut of beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Brown the beef in the hot oil.
  4. Remove the beef from the pot, and cook the onions in the remaining oil.
  5. Add the tomato past, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and red wine to the onions in the pot.
  6. Return the beef to the pot, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  7. Add in the broth, and cook on low heat for 3 hours.  Make sure that the pot is sufficiently covered so that the moisture doesn’t escape during this time.
  8. Remove the beef from the stew, and set it aside.  Cover it with aluminum foil to retain it’s warmth until you are ready to serve.
  9. Remove the bayleaves from the remaining sauce.
  10. Blend the remaining sauce until smooth.  This is a great chance to use your immersion blender if you have one, if not, a regular blender will do, just be careful while transferring the hot liquid it can be a bit of a juggling act.
  11. Serve the sauce alongside the beef as you would a gravy.

Broiled Polenta


  • 4 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning


  1. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  2. Season the water with the salt and cayenne.
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Gradually whisk the cornmeal into the water.  You want to do this slowly and carefully to avoid the forming of clumps.  The more gradual the better.  Little by little.
  5. Return the pot to a boil before reducing the heat, and continuing to cook the polenta for another 30 minutes while whisking occasionally.
  6. Remove the polenta from the heat.
  7. Quickly whisk in the cheese.
  8. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  9. Pour the polenta into the baking dish, and let it set as it cools.
  10. Broil the polenta before serving.



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