Eye Round Braised
Stracotto alla Palermitana")
In Palermo, our butcher (il carnezziere) was Mr.Giarrusso, owner of “The Giarrusso Meat Market”. In my hometown the
loyalty to the family butcher is passed on from generation to generation and the butcher knows his client’s names,
their family’s history and of course their preferred meat’s cuts. He tries to please all customers, giving them the
kind of cut more suitable for the dish they are going to prepare.
We bought the meat at Giarrusso's, who was also my father’s friend.
When my father went food shopping it was a feast, because he would buy in abundance, from fruits to nuts, and so
much of it he had to engage somebody to carry the shopping in a cart. When my father went shopping for meat, Mr.
Giarrusso would drink coffee with him, smoke a cigarette, indulge in conversation then he would cut the
The lucerto di vitello (eye round of veal) was one of my father's favorite cuts.
Cooking would became a family affair: the children peeled the onions, my aunt got all the ingredients ready, my
father sliced the onions and it was the responsibility of the oldest child to turn and turn the onions and the meat
with tears rolling down his cheeks because of the pungent smell of the onions.
The end result was a delicious and flavorful roast, which smell, I vividly remember with memories of winter’s
Sundays spent with all of the family and where everyone was involved together in a communion of tasks and
1 larded and tied eye round of beef (about 3 Lb.)
4 onions (about 2 Lb.), sliced not too thin
8 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of your preferred white wine
½ cup of chopped celery
¼ cup chopped carrots
4 bay leaves
Twig of sage and/or rosemary
2 cloves of garlic whole
Few coriander seeds and red pepper seeds
Salt & pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
Over a medium heat, in a 5 ½ quart sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the eye round. When meat is
seared, it appears lightly burnt on all sides, transfer onto a platter.
In the same pan, add remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, the sliced onions and stir until onions are
Slowly add wine, keep stirring and scraping off any brown residue stuck at the bottom of the pan, which will give
color and extra taste to our dish.
Put the meat in the sauté pan and add the celery, carrots, bay leaves, sage, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.
Simmer for an additional 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, slowly add the remaining wine and 1
cup of water.
Sprinkle the coriander and pepper seeds and finish cooking in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour for
medium meat, or 1 hour and 25 minutes for well done.
Cool a few minutes, slice the meat into ¼ of inch thick pieces and display it in a large dish, overlapping each
slice. Use the wine and vegetable sauce to cover the sliced meat.
Or pass the vegetables through a strainer or a blender and place it back into the pan, add some water and wine to
give to the sauce the right consistency. Before serving the Stracotto, warm up the sauce and sprinkle over the
Garnish with chopped parsley.
If it is preferred to cook it over the direct heat, instead of putting it in the oven, lower the flame, cover meat
with water, place lid on the sauce pan and continue cooking. Meat is ready when liquid is absorbed.
Once in a while, check the pot and turn the meat and the vegetables to make sure that they do not stick to the
bottom of the pan.
Cool a few minutes, slice the meat about a ¼ of inch thick and display it in a large dish, overlapping each
Pass vegetables through a strainer or a blender and follow the above direction.
Garnish with chopped parsley.