Here I am, food-blogging again. I chose this dish because… well… good pasta meals do not need special reasons. They just are.
The inspiration actually came to me from a very gifted Swedish blog writer and cook, Anne http://annesfood.blogspot.com/, and was originally posted by Jamie Oliver. Jamie, who is indeed my favorite British food writer, named this dish “amazing slow-cooked meat” but, when I look at the ingredients, it was a recipe for pasta meat sauce. Not the Bolognese though. The “real” slow cooked meat sauce with big, juicy, pieces of beef that melt in your mouth… “sugo di manzo”, in my grandma’s terms, a staple of Italian traditional cooking. So it was Sweden-England-Italy… what a long way for this recipe to come to life again.
Here is the slightly modified recipe.
Ingredients (my way) 1 kg braising meat – I used chuck-steak, which is “högrev” in Swedish
1 handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
A few bay leaves
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 wineglasses of good red wine – I used organic-grown San Giovese, from Tuscany
500g of plum tomatoes, crashed
500g cherry tomatoes, whole
2 tablespoons pearl barley
fresh or dried tagliatelle – pappardelle or fettuccine are just as good
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
Roast the cherry tomatoes on an oiled baking pan in a preheated oven (225 degrees/450F) until they start breaking. Finely chop the herbs and vegetables. Cut the meat in big chunks and remove most of the visible fat. In a deep casserole pan fry the meat with olive oil — add more if it looks dry. Fry the meat until golden brown then add the herbs, onions, garlic, carrot and celery. Turn the heat down and continue to fry for 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add the red wine and continue to simmer until the liquid has almost cooked away.
Add the crashed plum tomatoes and the cherry tomatoes without the skin (it will come out so easily after the oven “treatment”), the pearl barley and just enough water to cover the meat. Put a lid on the pan and cook on a really low heat for about 2-3 hours. I was actually able to make this on a week day, by simply doing most of the cooking one night ahead.
At this point, remove the bay leaves and, using 2 forks, pull apart the pieces of meat into tiny chunks. Put the meat back in the pan on a low heat.
Serve with tagliatelle and some good grated parmesan.
We all really enjoyed this meal…
…including our 21 month old picky eater.