Brasato mean braised in wine. In this case beef braised in wine. It is so easy and you can do so many beautiful things with the leftovers. It is a staple in our house. You start with beef that is good for slow cooking. If you are in Italy you tell them you are making Brasato and the butcher will know which kind of beef to give you. If you are in the grocery store in America I've found the guys working in the back rooms don't really know that much cooking. In Italy being a butcher can be rather prestigious. There is this one famous butcher in a town called Greve that sings opera, yells at people and spreads lard on bread with glasses of wine for the customers as they come in. He definitely knows what to do when he cuts up a side of beef.
Anyway lately here in America I'm using a Chuck roast and I'm happy with the results. Get together the following ingredients:
Red Wine (2 or so cups)
carrot or two
bit of beef stock
Heat some oil with the garlic in a tegame if you are in Italy or in a heavy pot you can transfer to the oven for slow roasting. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Put a couple of skinned whole cloves of garlic in some oil in the pan and when hot sear beef on all sides. Remove from pan.
Chop the "holy trinity" of Italy (1/2 onion, 1 celery, 1 carrot) and add saute them in the hot oil you seared the been in. After a few minutes add the beef and the rest of the fresh herbs. Fill the pot with wine and half a cup of beef stock to just shy of covering the roast.
Transfer to a 350 degree oven and cook for 2 1/2 or 3 hours depending on the size of the roast. Serve with polenta, mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes for a secondo.