If there is one dish that I crave on any cold winter night, it's Brasato al Barolo. Brasato al Barolo hails from Piedmont, Italy, where pouring a bottle of Barolo into such a preparation probably seems like much less of a crime than it does here. However, I'm here to tell you that it is worth it. Also, the main ingredient, a beef chuck roast, is one of the most affordable cuts you can buy from your local butcher, which helps offset the price.

This is a dish of few ingredients and relatively easy preparation that delivers a hearty, warm, rich, savory, and all-round pleasing experience for your guests. It can be made the day before or the morning of and quickly reheated for service.

I have known many cooks that will substitute a bottle of Nebbiolo or Barbera for the Barolo in this preparation, but I beg you to try it with Barolo at least once. Somehow, the structure and nuances of the Barolo are imparted into every cell of the roast and turn out a flavor and mouth-feel that will impart itself on your palate-memory for a very long time.