Slow-cooked beef with pancetta and cavolo nero

Serves 4

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1kg/2lb boneless rib of beef, cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
3 sticks of celery, cut into fine slices
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 slices of pancetta, cut into cubes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped, deseeded
A bottle of Barolo or similar hearty red wine
1 bunch of cavolo nero, washed
3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
80g/3oz Parmesan, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish. Season the meat generously and brown in batches. As each batch becomes golden-brown, remove and keep warm as you brown the rest. Don't overcowd the dish. Pour out the excess oil and add the onions, celery, carrots and pancetta and cook over a low heat until the vegetables are light-brown and soft. Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes and wine and bring to the boil.

Return the meat to the dish and turn the heat to very low. Place a lid on and cook for two-and-a-half hours. Transfer the meat to a serving dish, turn up the heat to high and reduce the sauce by a third, and season.

To prepare the cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage), blanch for five minutes, and add the olive oil, Parmesan and garlic while still warm. Toss through and serve with the slow-cooked beef.

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