Here's a tasty hearty dish from the south of France to warm you up on a winter night from my Food Year (Simon & Schuster 1997) cookbook. Look for those tiny, flavoursome Nicoise (or Ligurian) olives to round off the flavour. Serve with any short pasta.
- Prep Time : 30-40 minutes
- Cook Time : 2h 30 min
- Yield : 4-6
- gravy beef - 1kg, trimmed and cut in 5cm pieces
- red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon - 400ml
- onions - 2, peeled and cut in quarters
- garlic - 4 cloves, peeled and smashed
- bouquet garni - 1 sprig each fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary, celery tied together
- whole black peppercorns - 1/4 teaspoon
- whole cloves - 2
- cinnamon stick - 1/2
- bay leaves - 2
- extra virgin olive oil - 2 - 3 tablespoons
- veal shank - 1 small, cut in 3cm medallions
- tinned diced Italian tomatoes - 200g
- orange - 1, peel only
- beef stock or water - to cover
- salt - to taste (the bacon and olives are already salty)
- tomato paste - 1 -2 tablespoons
- bacon rashers - 4, trimmed of fat and diced
- small black or green olives - 200g, rinsed if salty
- Beurre Manie
- softened butter - 1 tablespoon
- plain flour - 1 tablespoon
- flat Italian leaf parsley - 1/2 bunch, finely chopped
- garlic - 1, peeled and finely chopped
Place the beef in a non-corrosive earthenware dish. Mix together the wine, onions, garlic, bouquet garni, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Pour over the meat, drizzle with olive oil, cover and leave to marinate, preferably overnight, in the fridge.
Remove from fridge and place meat and wine in a heavy casserole with tight fitting lid. Add veal shank pieces and top with beef stock or water to just cover. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and orange peel. Cover tightly and simmer gently over very low heat for 2-2.5 hours. The meat should be very tender.
Meanwhile fry bacon in a hot pan until fat is rendered and pieces are crisp. Drain on kitchen towels. Add to the meat along with the olives. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat and olives to a warm serving platter.
Strain the liquid and return to saucepan.
For the beurre manie, rub the butter and flour together and add to the liquid. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour the sauce over the meat and top with the persillade (chopped parsley and garlic mixed together).
Tip: add 2 -3 chopped anchovies to the casserole along with the tomatoes for more depth of flavour.