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Brasato al Barolo in white platter featured image.
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5 from 3 votes

Brasato Al Barolo

Brasato al Barolo is a classic Italian meal of brisket braised in red wine with herbs, cloves, and juniper berries. This delicious comfort food is best served with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Marinating time1 day
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8


Marinate the beef

  • 1 6 pound brisket flat
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole juniper berries
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • 10 large sage leaves
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 cloves

Sear the beef and braise

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta diced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Diamond kosher salt or 1 3/4 tablespoons Morton's kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour to dredge only, discard excess
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  • 2 tablespoons butter cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste, for final sauce


Marinate the beef

  • Make a sachet with cloves, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, juniper berries, and the cinnamon stick. Place the brisket and the sachet in a flat baking dish and pour the wine over and stock over it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours but ideally overnight. Make sure to flip the brisket a few times during the marinating process so that both sides get equally marinated.

Sear the beef and braise

  • Preheat the oven to 300f.
  • The next day, strain and reserve the liquid, vegetables, and brisket all in separate bowls. 
  • Dry the brisket very well with paper towels.  Season the brisket with salt and pepper on all sides then dredge in flour and shake off the excess.
  • Heat an oven-safe roasting pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil and the pancetta and cook until crisp (7-10 minutes) then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the brisket to the pan and brown it on all sides.  Once the brisket is nicely browned, remove it to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the reserved vegetables to the pan and cook until softened and lightly colored (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the liquid back to the pan and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove all of the flavor bits then turn the heat off.  Add the brisket (fat side up), pancetta, and sachet back to the pot. Cook in the oven covered for 4 hours covered very tightly with a double layer of foil. After 4 hours check for doneness. The brisket must be tender (a knife or fork will push through the meat with very little resistance). If the brisket is tough, return to the oven for another 45-60 minutes and check again. For more on this see notes below.
  • When finished remove the brisket from the oven and let sit for 30 more minutes without removing the foil cover. After 30 minutes remove and discard the sachet. Place the pan onto a burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Boil the sauce until thickened to your liking.  Traditionally the sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon, but not be overly thick. 
  • Add the marsala and cook for 1 more minute. Whisk the butter and stir to incorporate. You can blend the sauce with an immersion or regular blender to further thicken it if you like or leave it as is for a more rustic appearance. Taste test the sauce and season with salt and pepper if required.
  • Cut the brisket against the grain and spoon the sauce all over the meat in a serving platter.  Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!



  • Cooking to a 200-205f internal temperature will not guarantee a tender brisket!  Since the brisket is braised at 300f it will often reach 200f after only 2 hours of cooking but will still be super tough.  Cook the brisket until fork tender, which for a 6-pound brisket will be anywhere from 3 1/2 - 5 1/2 hours.  
  • As with all braises, this dish will be much improved the next day.  If you have the time, store the cooked brisket (wrap it after the braise and carve when cold the next day for much thinner slices) overnight and reheat it and all of the sauce in a baking dish covered with foil at 275f until hot. 
  • Though this dish is traditionally made with Barolo, any dry red wine will suffice.  Use a wine you enjoy.  And don't worry about not using a $70 or more Barolo, the dish will still be great!
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days.


Calories: 750kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.5g | Protein: 41.5g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 20.5g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 1729mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 2.5g | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4mg