Red Wine-Braised Italian-Spiced Beef

A trio of classic Italian spices adds a wonderful savory note to the beef in this dish. For more intense flavor, apply the rub to the roast the day before; cover and refrigerate overnight.

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed*
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 (3-lb.) boneless beef chuck roast, patted dry
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup purchased roasted red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Heat oven to 325ºF. Combine fennel seeds, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in small cup; rub over beef. Heat large nonreactive Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil; heat until hot. Brown beef 5 to 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides; remove.

2. Add onions to Dutch oven; cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high; add red wine. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Boil 1 minute; stir in tomato sauce. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pan; stir in bell peppers. Place round of parchment paper directly on beef and wine mixture. Cover; bring to a boil.

3. Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, skim off and discard any fat that rises to the top of the cooking liquid. To thicken pan juices, bring to a boil over high heat; boil 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve beef with pan juices; sprinkle with parsley.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 420 calories, 24.5 g total fat (9 g saturated fat), 39.5 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 135 mg cholesterol, 645 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

TIP *Crush fennel seeds with mortar and pestle, spice grinder or in plastic bag with flat side of meat mallet.

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