This is a really simple little beef recipe for an Italian style beef main course. Made with beef, veg, stock and seasoning it is very similar to an English recipe, but with Italian herbs and wine.
A lovely way to serve it is the traditional way, with polenta. You will need 450g of ground cornmeal (consistency between flour and sand), 1 litre of chicken stock, 1 litre of water, pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil and add the salt. Add the cornmeal in a slow, steady, stream. Remove the mixture from the heat when it’s all come together. Add in a dollop of butter or cream, a good pinch of black pepper and a handful of chopped herbs. This is a traditional Italian alternative to pasta.
- 2 chopped onions
- 3 carrots
- 4 celery sticks
- 1kg stewing beef. Try shoulder or neck fillet.
- 1 bottle of Barolo wine
- 100ml of dry Marsala
- 50g butter
- Glug of olive oil
- 2 tbsp. plain flour
- 4 or 5 juniper berries
- Some sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
Method of Preparation:
Finely chop the onions, the celery and the carrots so they are roughly the same size. Cover with the herbs and spices, add the beef, add the bottle of wine, cover up with some cling-film and leave in the fridge overnight to marinade.
Melt half of the butter in a saucepan big enough to hold everything. Add in the oil and heat the two together. Take the beef from the marinade and brown it in the pan. Take the vegetables out too, and drain the wine from them. Add these into the pan and brown them slightly.
Add the wine back in to the pan, bring to the boil, and turn down to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for around two hours.
Pour the Marsala into the stew and cook for a couple of minutes.
Take the beef out of the pan.
Blend the wine and vegetables together, discarding the bay leaves and the juniper berries.
Melt the butter in a pan, and add in the flour. Mix together until smooth and not lumpy. Slowly add in the wine and vegetables mixture until you have a smooth sauce.
Serve this poured over the meat with the polenta on the side. You could also have cabbage cooked with bacon on the side.