Rump of beef cooked slowly in red wine
A good, worthy-tasting dish that after just the smallest amount of work almost takes care of itself – it is perfect thing to cook if you are too busy to be vigilant over a stove, yet want to serve something truly worthwhile.
1.5kg/3lb rump of beef, trimmed of its fat
Sea salt and black pepper
50ml/2fl oz olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped
4-6 fresh bay leaves
1 small bunch of thyme
1 small bunch of rosemary
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
750ml/11/2lb good-quality red wine
1 litre chicken stock
Start by seasoning the meat generously all over, then form it into a roll and tie with string. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a heavy-based saucepan large enough to easily hold the meat. When the oil is hot, add the meat and brown really well all over, this will take about 10 minutes. Lift out and set aside on a plate.
Next add the vegetables to the same pan along with the herbs and garlic, and turn the heat down to low. Cook the vegetables, stirring every now and then, for 15 minutes or until they have softened and are sweet to the taste.
At this point return the meat to the saucepan. Pour over the wine, followed by the stock. Place the lid on the pan and turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting and leave, if you can, for five hours.
Next, take out the meat and bay leaves then strain the sauce through a colander, pressing firmly with the back of a ladle to pass the vegetables through. This will serve to thicken the sauce. Return the meat and bay leaves to the pan and pour over the strained sauce. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Before serving, reheat the meat gently, it should by now be falling apart and so soft that it can be eaten with a spoon.
Serve in warm bowls accompanied by whatever you fancy; buttermilk mashed potatoes, crusty bread or just a simple salad and a glass of really good red wine.
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