First of all apologies for disappearing from the blogosphere for over 6 months but I have changed my job, moved to Manchester, finally passed my driving license and life was just too busy!! I finally feel like I settled in my new place and I can concentrate on some good home ”cookn’ y’all ”!
So as it begins to look very grim outside (and in Manchester it rains all the time) there is nothing better than a nice warming dish accompanied by a large glass of vino. This particular one as if by magic happens to cook itself all in one pot so there is hardly any washing up to do post wine.
I have tried this dish for the first time in my favourite Italian restaurant in Cardiff called Bellini’s (catchy I know but don’t let the name fool you … It’s really good). So spezzatino is a very rich sauce cooked with steak, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and carrots with additional kick from green chillies. It’s packed full of meat flavour and it tastes a little bit like beef stew but it’s more acidic because of the tomatoes and a splash of balsamic. Even if you’re a traditional kind of carbonara or bolognese type it’s really worth trying it out.
Without sounding super pretentious as I don’t want to pretend I’m the wine expert here, there is a particular kind of ‘vino’ I really recommend with it and that’s Melbec. It’s dry and rich and it goes perfectly together with any kind of beef really…
- 400g of diced lean beef steak
- 1 red onion – chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic – chopped
- 2 green finger chillies – chopped (if you are really not sure about chillies still use them but remove the seeds for less heat)
- 250g of chestnut mushrooms – sliced
- 150g of chantali carrots – halved
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon of muscavado sugar
- 150ml of red wine
- 300ml of strong beef stock
- Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon
- 1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of cornflour (to thicken the sauce)
- Fusilli pasta (I use wholewheat but any pasta of your choice will do)
1. Drizzle some olive oil into a non stick pot and fry onions, chillies and garlic until onion becomes soft and slightly transparent then stir in muscavado sugar. Cook for few minutes until it caramelises then add beef and fry until evenly seared
2. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook for 5 minutes then add timned tomatoes, red wine, stock, balsamic vinegar, tarragon and rosemary. Bring everything to boil and let it simmer covered on a small heat for about hour stirring occasionally.
3. At this stage add salt and pepper. Mix cornflour with a splash of water then add to the sauce. Bring it to boil stearing occasionally. You should see how it thickens.
4. Cook your pasta aldente or to your liking and serve. Don’t forget the glasses for your wine!!!!