1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Mix all ingredients together.
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
3-pound boneless roast of beef, such as a rolled roast (have the butcher tie it for you)
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 bottle dry red wine
1 twenty-eight-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped (reserve liquid from can)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
up to 1 1/2 teaspoons beef base, paste-style if available
Salt, pepper, and flour the roast. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown meat on all sides in olive oil. Add onion and garlic and push them snugly around the base of the roast. Lower heat to medium and cook for a minute or 2 (do not let garlic brown too much). Add wine, tomatoes, reserved liquid, and dried herbs. If necessary, add enough water to barely cover the meat. Add beef base (if it contains salt, add gradually, tasting as you go). Add salt to taste.
Cover and simmer on stove top or cook, covered, in a 300-degree oven until very tender, at least 30 minutes per pound, basting every half-hour or so. Remove from pan and let cool for at least 10 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, make a gravy by thickening some of the cooking liquid with plain or Italian-style bread crumbs.
Slice meat, spoon on gravy, and garnish with gremolata. May be served with sautéed green beans and either wide noodles or mashed potatoes. Serves 4 to 6.