Saturday, 27 November 2010
Stracotto - Braised beef
1kg Rolled brisket
200g Pancetta, cut into small dice
2 sticks Celery finely chopped
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic
1 sprig Rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 sprig Thyme – leaves only
150ml Red wine
75ml Single or pouring cream
40g Parsley, finely chopped
1. Place the pancetta in a largish casserole and fry over a brisk heat to brown and to release the fat. Remove using a slotted spoon.
2. Brown the beef all over in the pancetta fat. Remove.
3. Fry the vegetables to brown them slightly. Add the herbs then the red wine and cook briskly for 3 minutes. Return the pancetta and beef to the casserole and add a cup of water.
4. Place the casserole in a pre-heated oven, about 170 degrees will take two or three hours or you could cook it all day in a slow cooker or in a very cool oven. You know your oven best. Check that it’s not cooking too fast or too slow by inserting a knife into the beef from time to time.
5. Remove the brisket, remove the string if it’s been rolled and tied, and wrap it in foil to keep it hot.
6. Pour the remaining contents of the casserole into a jug, add the cream and puree with a hand blender. Add finely chopped parsley and season to taste.
7. Slice the beef and place a thick slice on each plate and pour alongside it the sauce. Add vegetables – simply steamed whole carrots finished with a lavish anointment of butter and baked potatoes, also with butter, would do nicely – or just with bread or focaccia.