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Mario’s favorite recipes you can make at home!


Time: 3hr

Difficulty: Medium

Course: Second Course

Servings: 8

Region: Piedmont (Italy)

  • 3 1/2lb beef shoulder

  • 1 bottle Barolo wine

  • 1 onion

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • 5 whole peppercorns

  • 1 1/2oz butterpotato starch to taste 

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • salt to taste


  1. Place the meat in a pot, large enough for it to fit snugly. Pour an entire bottle of Barolo on top. Add sliced onion and carrot, chopped celery, the bay leaves and a couple of black peppercorns.

  2. Let the meat marinate for 24 hours, turning it 3 or 4 times. After marinating, remove the meat from the wine and tie it up using butcher’s twine.

  3. Place a wide, low pot on heat. Add the butter and, as soon as it has melted, add the peeled garlic and rosemary. After a minute, add the meat and brown it evenly on all sides.

  4. In the meantime, filter the wine from the marinade through a sieve to separate out the herbs and vegetables.

  5. Season the meat with a pinch of salt, then baste multiple times with the wine. Cover and cook over medium heat. Use a ladle to skim off the fat from the sauce. Then, dissolve a couple tablespoons of potato starch in a little bit of water and add to the sauce to thicken it. After a couple of hours once the meat is cooked, cut off the twine and place the meat on a serving dish.

  6. Carefully slice the braise and serve it with its sauce. You can also serve the braise with potato puree or polenta.

Food History

According to legend, pepper was introduced to Europe almost 2,500 years ago by Alexander the Great after returning from his voyage East. Regardless of whether or not this is true, there is no doubt that the peppercorn is originally from the Malabar region of India and, after being imported to Egypt 3,000 years ago, it was brought to Europe by the time of the Macedon rulers.

In the beginning, black pepper was used almost exclusively as a medicine. The great Greek physician, Galen, believed strongly in pepper’s digestive and pain-killing properties.

During the Imperial Age in Rome, pepper began to be used in the kitchen and quickly became one of the most sought after ingredients of the time. In fact, the famous Roman chef Apicius used it in almost all of his recipes.

Over time, pepper, thanks to its long shelf life, became an incredibly precious commodity to the point of being used to barter for goods in place of gold. According to 5th century historians, Alaric, the King of the Visigoths, asked for a large amount of pepper together with gold and other goods in exchange for not conquering Rome.

Preparation - 30 Minutes, Cooking - 2 Hour 30 Minutes