Monday, February 13, 2012

Rich Italian tomato sauce / slow cook

We had some time to spare this weekend, time enough to plan some slow cooking, rich flavoured comfort food from heaven (Italy). This dish epitomizes everything we love about food. It is born from rich Italian heritage and offers an aroma and flavour that generations before us have cooked & loved.

This food is cooked the old traditional way - as you cook through its stages you can almost feel a generation of Italian Nona's watching over your shoulder to check on your every move and gently guide you back on course if you were to stray from their tried and tested method.

This sauce is the real Italian deal. It has never been truer the saying  - you reap what you sew. 

If you love Italian food, really love it to its beautiful cultural roots - you must take this culinary journey as though taking a walk through the hills of Tuscany itself.  This is perfect for a Sunday afternoon of cooking and makes for the perfect Sunday night dinner. I hope you enjoy making it as much as we do! My husband and I make a great team in the kitchen. While I made the sauce he prepared fresh pasta to go with the sauce. Fresh pasta post will be coming soon...we are constantly inspired by the many great chefs of the world. This recipe was inspired by Tobbie Puttock's slow cooking. We hope you enjoy our version...x

Rich Italian slow sauce
serves 4

900g lamb chump chops
 (from good quality butcher - great for stewing)
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped (discard leaves)
pinch salt
pinch cracked black pepper

4 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 onion finely sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 generous tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped
1 large fresh red chilli, seeded, finely sliced
1 1/2 glasses of dry red wine - we use Shiraz (Reilly's Clare Valley 2008)
2 x 400g tinned and diced tomatoes
pinch salt
pinch cracked black pepper
extra virgin olive oil for flavour
finely chopped parsley leaves to garnish
parmigiano reggiano to garnish

STAGE 1 Mirepoix
vegetables cut roughly
(will be discarded later, so no need to finely chop)
Add Mirepoix to large pot
Add Lamb chump chops
to Mirepoix
Add water just covering ingredients
add bay leaves
pinch salt,
 cracked black pepper
bring to boil, then gently simmer
checking meat every ten minutes to make
sure water level stays above the meat
most of the time
the meat should be tender, almost
falling apart after 2 hrs
(if it isn't keep cooking)
once done remove pot from heat and allow
meat to cool to room temperature
Now you can begin STAGE 2
seed and chop large red chilli
finely chop garlic
Finely chop Mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion)
finely chop rosemary
Put the 4 tbs of olive oil in large saucepan
Add finely chopped Mirpoix, rosemary
garlic and chilli
sweat over gentle heat for 15 mins
(sweat means to cook without colour
-don't brown the vegetables) see below
vegetables soft and cooked without colour
Pour in red wine (shiraz) and allow to evaporate
Meanwhile, transfer meat from pot (STAGE 1)
to bowl and set to one side
Strain the meats cooking liquid and
pour into saucepan
over the vegetables and
red wine (STAGE 2)
discard STAGE 1's boiled vegetables
This is what the liquid looks like
after removing the meat and vegetables
from STAGE 1. This liquid then poured
into saucepan with red wine
Raise the heat under vegetables, wine
and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
At this stage, add the tomatoes, salt/pepper

Again, reduce the liquid, this time
to a level that just covers the vegetables
this will take a little while...
stir occassionally, so nothing sticks
Once sauce reduced, remove the
saucepan from heat and allow
sauce to cool
Tear meat into little shreds
discard fat
add meat to the cooling sauce
add as much or as less meat
as desired - meat will absorb sauce
so if you prefer more saucy add
less meat
 (reserved meat can be used in another sauce
or sandwiches)
add to sauce 1 tbsp extra virgin
olive oil and garnish with a handful
of parsley
Serve immediately with fresh pasta and
Parmigiano reggiano (parmesan)
(you can refrigerate for later use and it will
last 4-5 days)

Enjoy with a crusty bread and red wine

 buon appetito!


**As always, try to buy quality produce by visiting farmers markets
and quality butchers. They love your support


Eva@ said...

What a lovely recipe for our chilly winters day (I know it's summer down under!). If you love regional cuisine, you should check out Manu's Menu, she also lives in Australia but is an expat from Italy. Her recipes and photos are really wonderful.

Kristy and Adam said...

Hi Eva, thanks so much for dropping by our blog and for your lovely comments. This dish is incredibly rich and flavorsome and perfect for a chilly winters day! Should you get the chance to make it, you will be delighted. At the moment we are experiencing mild, grey, thunderous day...we can feel Autumn is on it's way! I have had a quick browse through manus blog and love love loved her menu. We will be raveling to Italy and France on a culinary journey, so I am excited to read and perhaps attempt some of Manus Dishes. Thanks so much for sharing her link :)