This was so easy and super tasty. All the prep can be done before your friends arrive and then it just simmers away and makes the house smell lovely. Serve with steamed potatoes.
Warning: The meat is supposed to be marinated for 24-48 hours – I only realised this on Saturday afternoon so mine was marinated for about 5 hours – still was fab.
- Make a marinade from: 120ml olive oil, 250ml dry red wine, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 3 bay leaves, 20 black peppercorns, 10 allspice berries, 4 garlic cloves.
- Add 1kg stewing beef pieces, turn to coat, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for 1 to 2 days.
- Blanch 2kg small pearl onions or shallots in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and peel.
- Heat 250ml olive oil in a large heavy pan over a medium heat. Add onions in batches and cook each batch for 8 – 10 minutes until lightly browned all over. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon.
- Remove meat from marinade and strain liquid into bowl – reserve the flavourings
- Add meat to pan used to cook the onion and cook for about 8 minutes until lightly browned all over.
- Pour in reserved marinade and season with salt & pepper. Add 2 of the bay leaves, 6 of the peppercorns and 6 of the allspice berries.
- Add 750ml puréed fresh or canned tomatoes (we used pasatta). Cover, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add the onions and 3 of the reserved garlic cloves. Recover and simmer for 1.5 hours until meat and onions are tender and the sauce is very thick.
- If the sauce has not reduced enough, remove meat and onions with a slotted spoon and then boil the sauce rapidly. Stir meat and onions back in before serving.