Here is a Tuscan family favourite, think bolognese, but better. You use chuck steak and then allow slow cooking to do it's thing. The meat shreds so easily and the sauce is absolutely delicious.
To serve, it’s traditional to enjoy the rich sauce with freshly cooked tagliatelle as a entree, serving the rest of the sauce with the meat as a main, teamed with steamed greens, oozy polenta, mash or whatever you fancy. I just served it with tagliatelle, not bothering with the slicing part, I just shredded the meat with two forks into large chunks. Then I added the sauce to the tagliatelle and let it sit for 5 minutes, so the sauce absorbs into the tagliatelle a little.
If you have added too much stock and you want it thicker, but you have no more time to allow it to reduce, you can mix some flour with some water, then add this to the sauce. Just make sure to simmer it for about 20 minutes, to cook out the flour.
This is simple, rustic and delicious. Much nicer than traditional bolognese.
1 kg piece of beef chuck
2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
8 fresh sage leaves
250 ml red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
Place the meat in a fairly snug-fitting casserole pan on a medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons of oil, turning with tongs, brown on all sides. Remove from pan, set aside until needed.
Add to the pan the onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Add the rosemary and sage, then season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until starting to caramelise.
Turn the heat up to high, pour in the wine, stir in the tomato paste, and let the wine cook away for about 2 minutes. Add the meat back to the pan, pour in the stock, only add enough to cover the meat by about 1cm, bring to the boil, then cover with a lid. Reduce to a low heat and cook for around 3 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender, turning and basting occasionally. Uncover and allow the liquid to reduce if needed for the final 30 minutes, likewise add more stock, if it has reduced too much. You can leave the lid on if thickened enough.Taste for seasoning.
If you are going to serve it traditionally in slices, lift the meat out on to a board, carve it into thin slices, and spoon over enough of that incredible sauce to keep the meat nice and juicy. Toss the rest of the sauce with freshly cooked tagliatelle, and finely grate over a little Parmesan, to serve.
If you are going to serve it immediately with tagliatelle, as pictured, just shred the meat into a large shred and serve it over the tagliatelle, and finely grate over a little Parmesan, to serve.
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