This braise of beef hails from the Puglia region of Italy, and although hearty, I believe it’s prepared year-round there. Another simple and delicious Mediterranean dish, this recipe’s unique ingredients all come together during very nicely the braising process. Wonderful over freshly made soft polenta (recipe for future post)! I hope you’ll try this tonight (or next weekend)!
1/3 cup olive, plus 1 tsp
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
2 1/2 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/4 tsp saffron threads
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 14-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, hand-squeezed into small bits in bowl
1 tsp sugar
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In small pan, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and gently cook for 2 minutes (don’t brown!). Add fennel seeds and cook another 1 minute. Combine olive oil mixture well with beef in a large bowl. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, bring wine to a boil in a small bowl. Remove from heat and add saffron. Stir, cover and let steep.
In a large Dutch oven, heat remaining 1 tsp olive oil over high heat. Add marinated beef, salt and pepper, and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add tomatoes and wine/saffron mixture to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked down a bit, deglazing about 5 minutes. Add back beef. Increase heat to high and stir until beef mixture begins to boil. Cover and place in oven. Cook until beef is just about falling apart, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in sugar. Serve over polenta and garnish with parmesan and parsley.
Looks wonderful. I love the fennel seeds and saffron combination!
Thanks, Ronit. I generally associate saffron with fish or chicken, and fennel with, well, I’m not sure. But together with beef, I think they are great.
Looks and sounds a wonderful dish – its just gone to the top of my “must try list”. Will report back!
I’m so glad this recipe is interesting to you, and yes, please do report back!
What a wonderful combination of flavors. I used fennel with pork last night but have never thought of using it with beef.
Yes, one doesn’t think of fennel with beaf, but I think it (with the other flavors), go very well with the beef! Please let me know what you think if you ever try it.
It must taste fantastic. I like the fennel in it. Here in Sicily we use fennel a lot, especially in our sausages.
Yes, I think it tastes fantastic. Here in the US, we typically use fennel with pork and maybe fish, but we need to learn to use it with other things because I think it’s very versatile.
beautiful dish! it has been so long since I’ve slow cooked anything. I have to do it at least one last time before this cold weather is gone 🙂 I might give your recipe a try, sounds absolutely delicious!
Thanks! Would love to hear what you think if you try this dish.
Amazing …! With polenta seasoned with chicken stock, lemon zest and parmesan. A new favourite of ours, for sure.
Thanks for the great comment!