04 Dec 2012

PREP 15mins
COOK 1hr 45mins


1/3 cup (45g) black peppercorns
800g chuck or blade steak, cut into 5cm chunks
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
150g pancetta or speck, chopped
1 large onion, cut into thick wedges
2 large carrots, thickly sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup (250ml) dry red wine, such as shiraz
3 cups (750ml) good quality beef stock or jus
250g small kipfler potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil, to serve
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
grilled crusty bread, to serve


1 Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely crush peppercorns. Season beef with salt and toss in cracked black pepper. Heat half of olive oil in a large saucepan on high. Add beef in batches. Add remaining olive oil if pan is dry and meat sticks.

2 Cook beef, turning, for 4-5 mins, until well browned all over. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate. Cook pancetta in same pan for 2-3 mins, until lightly browned. Remove pancetta from pan.

3 Reduce heat to medium. Cook onion, carrot and garlic in same pan, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins, until softened and lightly caramelised. Stirring will prevent garlic cloves from browning too much.

Return beef and pancetta to pan and increase heat to medium-high. To deglaze pan, stir in wine, scraping base of pan to dislodge and dissolve any brown bits.

5 Cook for 3-4 mins, until wine reduces by half. Add stock and potatoes. Reduce heat to mediumlow. Cook for 11/2 hrs, until beef is tender. Drizzle over extra virgin olive oil and scatter over parsley. Serve with bread.

Gary’s secrets 
 • I often buy blade, chuck or beef cheek whole for braising. I like to cut big steak-like chunks for stews – it’s rustic, meaty and beautiful to cook with.

• Browning the meat is crucial for good flavour, so caramelise it well on all sides. That sweet, meaty taste is what a good stew is all about.

• You could cook this dish in a 165C or 145C fan oven with a tight-fitting lid for 11/2-2 hours. It won’t stick to the base of the pan and will cook evenly.

•When time is precious, I cook this dish in the pressure cooker. Follow the method, then pop on the lid. Once it’s up to pressure, it takes 25 minutes.


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Last modified on Monday, 03 December 2012 03:21
Gary Mehigan

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