Italian Braised Beef with Gremolata
This is an adaptation of an old Italian favourite, normally made with veal but here with shin of beef, which is much more readily available in this country.
|1½ lbs (700 g) shin of beef|
|1 dessertspoon beef dripping or oil|
|1 medium onion, sliced thickly|
|1 large clove garlic, crushed|
|½ pint (275ml) dry white wine|
|¾ lb (350 g) tomatoes, peeled and chopped|
|1 level tablespoon tomato puree|
|1 level tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary|
|Salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|For the gremolata:|
|1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped|
|2 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped parsley|
|The grated rind of 1 lemon|
|Need help with conversions?|
You will also need a wide shallow flameproof casserole that will hold the meat in one layer.
This recipe is from A Year in My Kitchen
Start off by trimming the beef and slicing it into quite large cubes, then heat the dripping or oil in the casserole and when it’s really hot, add half the cubes of meat.
Toss them around to brown nicely on all side the transfer to a plate, and repeat with the other half of the beef. If it needs it you can add a little more dripping or oil to the casserole, then add the onions and cook until golden and brown at the edges.
Now add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so before returning the meat to the casserole. Next pour in the wine and let it bubble and reduce a little before adding the tomatoes, tomato puree, rosemary and a seasoning of salt and pepper.
Bring up to simmering point, then cover the casserole and leave it to simmer very gently for 2 hours.
When the time’s up, take off the lid and continue to simmer very gently for a further hour (do keep an eye on it because it mustn’t reduce too much) until the meat is tender.
Before serving mix the chopped garlic, parsley and lemon zest together and sprinkle this mixture equally over each serving.
We served this, Italian-style, with Risotto Milanese – cooked (I have to admit) in the cheats’ fashion. See Related Recipe below.
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Who says risotto has to be stirred? Well, yes, if it's a classic one, but this tastes every bit as good and is just left to its own devices on the hob. Brilliant with braised meat dishes and casseroles.
Cooking meat in wine adds flavour and prevents it from drying out, which is why this recipe is such a failsafe when entertaining. The Parmesan mashed potatoes are a wonderful accompaniment and keep the Italian vibe going.
Lasagne al Forno can be made well in advance (or even frozen), then all you need to do is to bake it in the oven for 45-50 minutes
Keep your eye on the risotto as it simmers, adding stock a ladle at a time and your patience will be rewarded.
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