Beef in Barolo, with Herbed Polenta; the Hunt Dinner(s)

This is a re-do of a post I did years ago.

The photo I had was not very appetizing….

Beef in a red wine / brown sauce is hard to photo creatively. I even commented in the post about it at the time.

This one isn’t any better.

However, I’ve made the dish often, starting back when we were still in Minnesota and I wanted to make it again so I did….. ’cause we wanted to eat it.

The only problem I have making it here in France is that I can’t get barolo…. I used a burgundy.

I used to shop in a wonderful wine store in Minneapolis, where I could get all sorts of fantastic wines from all over the world.

Now I shop in France and the attitude is: Why would anyone want anything other than French wine?

To be fair in Spain one buys Spanish wine and in Italy one buys Italian wine. Perhaps one can only buy US wine in Minneapolis now….

So – use any hearty red wine you like, but the recipe is from the ‘Italy, the Beautiful’ cook book and they say to use barolo.

Beef in Barolo

Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
plus marinating


  • 24oz (750gr) beef, suitable for braising, cut into large pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 1 tbs juniper berries
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 bottle decent Barolo wine (or more)

Beef in Barolo


  • Combine everything but the olive oil in a deep bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to cook, remove meat from marinade and drain well, reserving marinade.
  • Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven.
  • Add the meat and brown well.
  • Add entire marinade with all vegetables, etc., cover and braise in 350F (185C) oven for 3 hours.
  • Check periodically, and add more wine if it starts to dry out.
  • When done, remove meat and keep warm.
  • Remove bay leaves.
  • Puree the vegetables, herbs, spices, wine until smooth.
  • Reheat if needed, pour over meat and serve.

Print Recipe

We had it over:

Herbed Polenta

Total time: 15 minutes, assuming quick-cooking polenta


  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup (1.5oz, 45gr) polenta, quick-cooking
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley



  • Heat stock, herbs, in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  • When stock is simmering slowly pour in polenta, whisking constantly.
  • Cook, stirring constantly (seriously: constantly), about 5 minutes or until done.
  • Cover and let sit 5 minutes.
  • Serve.

Speaking of bad photos:

We have been to 2 ‘hunt’ dinners in as many weeks. Hunting season is over so all of the clubs in all of the villages are having their Repas de Chasse – Hunt Dinners

I’m quite sure I gained 5 pounds at each of them.

The above photo is the main course at the first dinner. It’s a venison steak with roasted potatoes and green beans.

Here is the complete menu – these are not choices, but courses.

Seven courses.

One eats it all….

  • Apéro with nibbles
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Wild Boar Paté
  • Venison and Vegetable Stew
  • Venison Steak with Potatoes & Green Beans
  • Salad and Cheese
  • Éclairs

Naturally, there was copious amounts of French wine served throughout and coffee and brandy when it was all done.

It started at noon and we left shortly after 5:00.

Yes…. over 5 hours for lunch.

Here is the menu for the next Sunday:

  • Apéro with nibbles
  • Cream of Pumpkin & Chestnut Soup
  • Fish (Pike-Perch) with Lobster Sauce
  • Venison Stew with Vegetables
  • Ham with Braised Endive and Green Beans
  • Salad and Cheese (choice of 5 cheeses)
  • Apple Tart

Coffee and brandy again.

Copious amounts of wine, again

It started at noon and we left after 5:00, again.

Again – those were not choices, but courses….

We were invited to a 3rd hunt dinner this weekend.

We graciously declined.

Oh – for the record, everything was delicious!

But perhaps, for me at least, just the tiniest bit too much

Last update on July 15, 2019

7 thoughts on “Beef in Barolo, with Herbed Polenta; the Hunt Dinner(s)”

  1. At events like that I accept that I’m not going to eat it all. I try most of it, usually decline the cheese and explain it’s not that it wasn’t delicious, it’s too much food for me. My husband on the other hand is quite happy eating the whole lot.

    And one drinks Australian wine in Australia (although in the last decade or so it has become easy to pick up something decent and foreign in most bottle shops, and more recently the supermarket Aldi has made a big difference).

    • At the first dinner I mistakenly thought the stew was the main course. I was more careful at the second one lol. I can skip the cheese but I need the salad,

  2. Looks very tasty!

    We do Greenfield Village’s Holiday Nights dinner every year. A truly traditional menu from the 1800’s when the Eagle Tavern was alive and active. It’s served family style and while it doesn’t look like a lot of food, it’s really a tremendous amount. I have a little of everything, husband enjoys it all. You can tell those who are enjoying their first dinner though. By the time the main course comes, they’re almost too full to eat it most of the time.

    I’ve not had Borolo. I’ll have to see if I can get it here in Michigan. I would think so. I can get just about any wine available here for some reason…

  3. Beef in barolo!! Wow, is it just me or does that seem really really extravagant? Because I can imagine (just) having barolo with beef, but never being allowed to pour the wine into anything but good Riedel glasses….

    So I think I’d be inclined to use a drinkable dry red in the stew and keep all the Barolo untouched, to serve with the dinner.

    But wow. This dinner sounds awfully good.

    (I’ve only had Barolo a couple of times – on special occasions.)

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