Wine Braised Beef (Suure Mocke)


I remember filling up on this hearty delight during the cold winter days. It is rather iffy on its own but goes extremely well with a huge helping of extra creamy mashed potatoes. This simple (but time consuming) dish varies throughout different regions in Switzerland. Some are prepared with herbs, some without. Some are marinated in wine, some in cider. Some contain dried fruits, some do not. Some contain a dash of schnapps, others do not. Either way, I suppose it is really up to you to experiment and play around with it until you find a variation that suits you. Here is a simple and basic recipe that uses red wine and a minimal amount of herbs. Originally, the meat was marinated for up to 5 days to allow all the mellow woodiness of the wine and the subtle sweetness of the vegetables to permeate through. However, soaking the beef overnight should work just fine. Not everybody in today’s world has the luxury of waiting that long just to enjoy a piece of meat.

Wine Braised Beef

wine braised beef
Serves 6


  • 1.5 kg/1500g braising beef, uncut (eg: chuck, brisket, round)
  • 30g clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1.2 litres red wine
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 leek, slit lengthwise and coarsely sliced
  • 1 carrot, slit lengthwise and coarsely sliced
  • 1 celery, slit lengthwise and coarsely sliced
  • 2 onions, peeled & halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1 stick dried cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 juniper berries, crushed (using a splash of gin works just fine)
  • salt & black pepper, to taste


  • Place all the ingredients except beef, flour and clarified butter into a pan. Bring to the boil, stir, remove from heat and allow to cool to slightly above room temperature
  • Place the beef in a vessel of your choice and pour marinade over. Make sure the beef is completely submerged. Allow to soak overnight in a cool place.
  • Remove beef and season liberally with salt and pepper. Strain marinade and set aside. Transfer all the strained vegetables and herbs into a large bowl
  • Brown beef with clarified butter in a large, heavy based pot over high heat. Remove beef from pot and set aside
  • Add the flour into the pot and whisk over low to medium heat until flour browns but not burns. Make sure there are no lumps left in the flour mixture. Remove pot from heat and slowly whisk in the marinade
  • Return pot to the heat again and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the marinade has been reduced to half of its former volume
  • Bring to the boil and return the beef, vegetables and herbs to the pot. Make sure that the now reduced marinade does not cover up to more than 1/3 of the height of the beef.
  • Cover and reduce heat again. Cook over low heat for approximately 3 hours (or until meat is tender), turning beef every 30 minutes
  • Remove and rest the beef for approximately 10 minutes before slicing
  • Season the sauce to taste with salt & pepper. Serve

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