When I made the Gnocchi last weekend I had some leftover pecorino, so I went on the hunt to find a recipe worthy of such delicious cheese. I was thinking of replacing the parmesan in risotto, then I came across this recipe. I have a stack of slow-cook recipes piling up that I don't have the time for. Not that they are time consuming, I just have trouble staying at home for too long without popping out for something or other, and I'd be too worried to leave the stove unattended.
Anyway, cut a long story short, I love slow-cooked meat but rarely cook it. So this time I was determined. The recipe's pretty straightforward. S-bo gave me a hand cutting things up finely as I was cutting the time a little short. 2.30 pm and already time's running out to get dinner ready. Funny huh? There's not a whole lot to say about the initial cooking phase. I actually was planning on eating the sauce the next day, so I cooked the meat for 2 1/2 hours then left it 'til the next day. It was very liquid-y but perhaps that was 'cause I used crushed tomatoes, maybe it was meant to be whole. Also the size of my pot meant a lot of water was required to over the meat by 1 cm.
I'm not good at slow-cooking, I see little movement in the pot so I turn up the heat. But this time I finally decided to rely on past experiences and I kept it very low indeed. Still I was worried that I'd stuffed things up nevertheless, when the meat wasn't flaking off the bone so well on day 2. Turns out (I think) that I didn't have such great osso bucco. There were lines of sinew through the meat. Now I quite like fat, not afraid of it at all. I have been known to eat the whole lamb chop, fat and all, licking the bone clean as I criticise other's and their healthy ways. Fancy putting the fat to the side and not eating it. But this wasn't melt-in-your mouth fat, it was clear hard-to-cut-with-carving knife sinew. That was a little disappointing but in the end it mean I just used a sharp knife instead of 2 forks to shred the meat.
I set the shredded meat aside and boiled off some of the liquid still in the pan. It worked a treat, although I probably boiled too far.
The dish was delicious and very deserving of the pecorino. S-bo was most impressed, Flatmate enjoyed leftovers for lunch the next day and workmates looked on enviously as I ate my lunch share. Give it a shot, it beats spaghetti bolognese.
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
800 g braising meat on the bone (such as lamb shanks or osso bucco)
Handful of fresh rosemary and thyme, leaves finely chopped, plus extra rosemary to serve
1 small red onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 wineglasses of dry red wine
800 g canned roma tomatoes
2 tbsp pearl barley
400 g fresh or dried pappardelle or pasta of your choice
100 g unsalted butter
2 handfuls grated parmesan, plus extra to serve.
Heat the oil in a large casserole over high heat and fry meat in the oil for 3-4 min ‘til brown. Add herbs, onion, garlic, carrot and celery, then reduce heat to medium and continue to fry for 5 min ‘til veges have softened. Add wine and simmer until it has almost cooked away but left you with fantastic colour and fragrance.
Add tomatoes, barley and just enough water to cover the meat by 1 cm. make a cartouche of greaseproof paper – cut out a sheet the size of the pan, wet it under the tap, rub with a little oil, place over pan and put the lid on.
Cook over very low heat for 2-3 hours, depending on the type of meat. It’s ready when it flakes away in tender strands. Season to taste and cool slightly before removing meat from the pan. Pull apart meat with 2 forks, discarding bone, then put the meat back in pan over low heat.
Cook pappardelle in a pan of boiling, salted water. Remove sauce from heat and stir in butter and parmesan (pecorino!) with a little of the pasta cooking water – this will make it juicy and shiny. Toss together with pasta and serve immediately, sprinkled with rosemary and cheese.