The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4018492
Posted By: Steve Shaw
11-Nov-19 - 02:49 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Ever since Mrs Steve bought me the book a couple of years ago, I've become a massive fan, a disciple almost, of Marcella Hazan. To be honest, the first time I follow a recipe I'm a slave to it (after that I'm a terrible rebel). So tonight I followed, trepidaciously, her recipe for beef braised with onions. Normally, if I have a hunk of a cheap cut of beef, it gets browned, then put in a pot with carrots, onions and celery, with some stock and/or red wine and a big bunch of herbs, then bunged in the oven for several hours at low temp. Very nice....

Well forget that. This was a revelation, so simple, and so different from those general (very nice) beef casseroles...

You need a heavy pot with a good lid. You need a piece of brisket weighing about two pounds. Don't even think of using a cheap topside roasting joint. It won't work. Get brisket or forget it. I know that yanks can get flat brisket. I much prefer to roll it and tie it with string, but it's up to you.

You need to incorporate about two ounces of pancetta/streaky bacon into the meat. Just shove some bacon pieces into the ends. She suggests using one of those needle jobbies that can thread the bacon deep into the joint. Sod that. She says to shove a few cloves into the meat. I didn't have any and I concluded that it matters not a jot.

Next, you need three or four big onions that you slice very thinly. Put the onions into your casserole. Layer a few rashers of pancetta/streaky bacon on top. Put the piece of beef on top of that then season well. It goes in at 150C for about three and a half hours. It needs turning occasionally. Just mash some spuds and boil up some greens. Voila.

The big thing is the lovely, slushy, brown onion sauce. No other gravy needed. This sets this dish apart from all those lovely pot roasts and casseroles.