This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I got it from my daughter, Christian, many years ago when she went to Southwestern Bible College, and dated a boy whose parents had been missionaries in Italy in a small town names Genovase, near Sicily. I am not up to snuff on Southern/Northern Italy, except just to know that Northern is creamier and Southern is tomato-ier. I looked on the map and this is RIGHT in the middle of Italy, so maybe you can help! It can be served as an appetizer or toss it all together and serve it with lots of fresh parmesan. When you tell people it takes 6-8 hours they automatically shut down, because that makes it sound difficult. But it is NOT, and I have included pictures to let you know what it looks like every couple of hours. The ONLY HARD PART of this recipe is at the end, when you have to decide when it’s done. And that all depends on how juicy you would like to serve it, but a general rule of thumb is to just cook it down till almost all of the juice is absorbed, and it looks like a nice thick SAUCE. (You should really not even be able to decipher the onions once they have been smashed enough. If you don’t catch it at the right time, before it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, you will burn it!!!! (Ask me how I know)…..anyway, here goes. Look at the above picture and see all 4 ingredients. Yes, only 4!!. Note: Do NOT be tempted to season this while cooking, or adding anything until it is done. The onions and Bouillon cook down and concentrate SO MUCH that the finished dish has a wonderful, subtle Sweet Onion/Beef flavor.
1 3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast
10 (large chop) sweet baseball sized onions
1 stick butter
2 tsp. beef bouillon paste, or soup base OR 2 cubes beef bouillon Note: the original recipe called for cubes. But 25 years later I don’t use them anymore, because they are just too salty. Get Knorr at Costco, or First Street at Smart and Final. Do your own thing!
In a very large pot, place all ingredients and cover with water (have about an inch or two of water over the meat. Start cooking, bring to a swift boil, then turn it down to a bubbly simmer. You should be able to see it boiling, but not too much. Cover, and just leave it alone for at least an hour, maybe 2. You will slowly start to see the water cooking down….
Two hours later….After 2 or three hours it will begin to thicken. UNCOVER the pot, and now every hour or so, begin smashing it with a big spoon or some type of smasher (Mine is from Pampered Chef). No need to stand over the pot for 6 hours. Just check it and smash it whenever you think of it. About 5 or 6 hours into the cooking, your smashing will begin to pay off, and you will see (and taste), and beautiful “sauce” developing. Now is when you pay attention. You have watched it for hours, and when it gets to a consistency you like, you’re done! Serve over Mostacciolli, Penne, or my favorite: Pappardelle. Be sure you top it with plenty of Cheese!