Beef, Pancetta and Porcini Stew.

Great dish for any season. All flavours , complement each other, really well. And the taste, somewhat unique.

But the dish is time consuming and not cheap.

Ingredients:

Fillet steak- good quality, lean- 1kg/2.2 pounds, cut into 4/4 cm(1.5inch/1.5inch) cubes.

Porcini mushrooms- 60g/2.1ounce, soaked into 1 cup of water, till soft.(reserve the liquid)

Carrot- 1 cut into half moons.

Celery- 2 sticks, cut into chunks.

Onion-1 cut into chunks.

Pancetta- 100g/3.5ounce cut into 4/4cm(1.5/1.5inch)

Rosemary- 1 tablespoon, roughly chopped.

Bay leaves-3 pieces.

Garlic cloves- 3-4 roughly chopped.

Red wine-1 cup.

Pickled baby onions- 700g/1.5pounds.

Canned whole tomatoes- 1 can, drained and chopped.

Basil-1/2-1 cup, chopped.

Tomato paste-2 teaspoons.

Oil.

Salt, pepper to taste.

Directions:

Lay beef cubes, between 2 paper towels, and leave it for 15 minuets, to dry.

Heat an oil in japan and cook pancetta, pieces, till browned, remove from the pan, set aside.

Season beef with salt and pepper and fry in batches, do not overcrowd the pan, till nice and browned on all sides.

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.

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When all meat is cooked, set aside and add onion, celery and carrot to the same pan, add oil if necessary.

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Cook till softened.

Drain porcini (reserve the liquid) and chop them.

Add tomato paste, porcini, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic, stir for a minuet, add pancetta.

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Add wine, and simmer till liquid reduced in half.

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Transfer all the mixture to a larger, ovenproof pot, add porcini water, beef with all the juices. Cover with foil then lid and put on a lower shelf of the oven.

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Cook for one hour,

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remove from the oven, add onions, cover with foil, lid return.

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After 30 minuets add chopped tomatoes and back to the oven for another 30 minuets.

Take it out of the oven, stir in basil. Meat should easy pull apart.

Great served with polenta or nice Italian bread.

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