Okay, found this, and probably will use the sauce technique as a jumping off point - awesome site, BTW - italianfood.about.com
Beef Braised in a White Wine Sauce -- Bue Stufato in Salsa al Vino Bianco
Take 4 1/2 pounds (2 k) of well aged beef (rump roast would be a good bet here), bone it and remove any gristle it may have, pound it to tenderize it, and put it in a pot with a quarter pound (100 g) of fat and an equal amount of lard (you could reduce these amounts substantially; I'd be tempted to use just a bit of kidney fat and some cured lard), 2 onions, a bit of parsley, and a clove of garlic, all minced. Sauté the meat over a low flame, sprinkling it with water, and stir in a tablespoon of flour. Then add two glasses of water and two more of dry white wine (Arneis, a Piemontese white, would be nice here), salt, pepper, spices to taste -- a slight dusting of nutmeg, for example -- cover, and simmer at the barest of boils for about four hours. When the meat is tender and the sauce is reduced, cut the meat across the grain, transfer it to a platter, and season it with the sauce, after degreasing it and blending it.