Pomì Strained Tomatoes 1 box
I have been living in the US for 15 years now, and I have to say, after a very long learning curve I have finally learned to live my life, at least at the dining table, the same way I would if I was still at the farm where I grew up.
Yes some ingredients might be harder to source, I do not have a fireplace in my Brooklyn home and my kitchen does not grace me daily with the stunning views of the olive orchard.
However if you were to visit me last night for dinner, and closed your eyes upon entering my house, you would have been suddenly transported to the heart of Tuscany because of the immense aroma of this pulled meat recipe simmering in my cast iron pot on the stove.
This is the power of good simple peasant food: a sense of belonging that I can carry with me anywhere I go. Cook this recipe for your family on a Sunday night (well you will have to cook all afternoon) or to entertain friends; even if the cooking time is long, the preparation is really minimal and the results are guaranteed to be delicious.
On a medium-high flame sauté onion, carrots and celery until softened but not golden, add the pepper flakes and stir well.
Add the beef and stir well until evenly covered with herbs.
Add wine, tomatoes and bay leaves, mix well and bring to a very gentle simmer.
Lower the flame and cook for about 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes and keeping the pot partially covered with a lid.
Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for an additional 3 hours until the meat has almost completely fallen.
This stew can be prepared with different kinds of meat as well like Elk, Bison and Venison and Wild Boar. It is a hunter’s extremely basic recipe and it really applies to a huge variety or game and farm raised meats as well.
Always keep track of your sauce and never let it dry too much, if that happens a small amount of water or broth is all you need to keep it going. On the other hand, if your meat starts falling apart before the 5-hour mark, you can decide at any time to turn off the flame and be done.
In case you want to unleash the hunter in you and decide to cook game meat as opposed to farmed, make sure to marinate it in wine, bay leaves and peppercorns for 12-to 24hrs to soften its fiber and tone down a bit the gamey flavor.
Follow the instructions on the box to cook the polenta, and as you are stirring it into its final minute or so, mix in the greens of your choice until they all wilt and become part of the corn meal.
Serve the polenta warm on a plate and ladle on top of it the beef stew with a generous amount of sauce. Finish with a pinch of chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Even if I am totally bias to Tuscan wines and Chianti in particular, at times I like to enjoy this dish with a fuller Barolo or Amarone from our northern territories as they complement slow cooked meats like no others.
Last but not least, any leftover meat will make a superb pasta sauce the day after, I hope you get to enjoy this as much as we do in our house.
Prep Time: 20 min - Cook Time: 5 hrs