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Italian Pot Roast (Straccato) and Oven-Baked Gorgonzola Polenta - Close-up overhead shot of pot roast on oval platter

Italian Pot Roast (Stracotto) and Oven-Baked Gorgonzola Polenta

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Italian Pot Roast (Stracotto) and Oven-Baked Gorgonzola Polenta is the ultimate Italian comfort food combination your family and friends will love!  Slowly braised beef in a red wine-infused sauce and an easy, hands-off polenta combine to create a dish for perfect stress-free entertaining or Sunday family dinner!
Course Beef
Cuisine Italian
Diet Diabetic
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 8
Calories 588



  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 (4-pound) chuck roast tied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 4 ounces pancetta diced
  • 12 cloves garlic 2 chopped, 10 sliced, divided
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) beef broth with enough water added to make 2 cups
  • 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes preferably a good imported Italian brand
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 large bay leaves


  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup polenta coarse ground
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season the chuck roast liberally with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Place chuck roast in Dutch oven and brown well on both sides, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, pour off and discard browning fat.
  • Refresh oil with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and pancetta. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Add chopped garlic and cook briefly 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil. Boil 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the beef back to the pot along with any accumulated juices.
  • Add beef broth, tomatoes, sliced garlic, rosemary, Italian seasoning and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  • Place a layer of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the top of the Dutch oven followed by the lid. (You want to minimize evaporation as much as possible.)
  • Place in the oven and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is extremely tender.
  • Place on a serving platter and slice or shred as desired.


  • Spray a 2 1/2 to 3-quart oven-safe casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine chicken broth or water, half-and-half, polenta and salt and black pepper in the prepared casserole dish and stir well.
  • Place in the oven uncovered and bake alongside the roast during the last 40-45 minutes of braising the roast. After approximately 30 minutes, stir, add Gorgonzola and butter and stir again. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve polenta with pot roast.


SUBSTITUTIONS:  If you're not a blue cheese/Gorgonzola fan, try Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Cheddar or Gruyere.
SLOW-COOKER:  Keep in mind that slow cookers tend to water flavors down. You can do four to six hours (would depend on the size of the roast) on HIGH and eight to ten hours on LOW. If you can, leave the cover off for the last 30-45 minutes so the sauce has a chance to reduce. You could also reduce the amount of broth in the beginning by a cup or so.
ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER:  Will take approximately 60 to 80 minutes in an electric pressure cooker.
MAKE AHEAD:  The roast can be prepared 2 days ahead. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  The roast is freezer-friendly.  Place in an airtight container and freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 750mg | Potassium: 737mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3409IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 3mg