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This meat sauce for pasta or gnocchi has a sweet-sour flavour. Dad insists it's traditionally served with gnocchi, while Mum goes for homemade pasta.
|1½ kgs||Beef, fresh beef eye, of silverside (not corned silverside)|
|100 g||Pancetta, cut into small strips|
|3||Garlic cloves, 1 thinly sliced, the others finely chopped|
|500 ml||Red wine vinegar, up to 750ml|
|1 cup||Plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper|
|80 ml||Olive oil|
|2||Large onions, sliced|
|2||Carrots, roughly chopped|
|2 Tbsp||Tomato paste|
|2||Celery stalks, roughly chopped|
|1 handful||Parsley, chopped|
|¼ tsp||Nutmeg, grated|
|1 Ltr||Water, up to 2 ltr or beef stock (to cover)|
|1 to taste||Salt and pepper|
|150 g||Pitted prunes|
|1 handful||Parsley, finely chopped|
|1 to serve||Ground parmesan, freshly grated|
|1 to serve||Pasta, or gnocchi|
- Cut a dozen small incisions into the meat and stuff with strips of pancetta and the slivers of garlic.
- Place in a bowl that will fit the meat snugly, add the whole cloves and pour in enough of the vinegar to cover.
- Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, drain the meat (discard the vinegar) and roll well in seasoned flour.
- Heat the oil on a high heat in a large heavy pot or casserole and add the meat and onions.
- Brown the meat all over and let the onions soften and take on some colour.
- Add the chopped garlic, carrot and celery and fry for another couple of minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, a handful of parsley, nutmeg and sugar, stir and then add enough water and/or beef stock to just cover the meat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little more sugar if it tastes very sour.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour on a gentle heat before adding the Marsala and simmering for another hour and a half.
- Remove the meat from the liquid and cut into slices about 5mm-thick. Set aside.
- Puree the cooking liquid and veges in a food processor until smooth and put back into the pot with the sliced meat.
- Add the prunes and a little more water if the sauce is very thick and simmer for 15 minutes more.
- Stir in the extra parsley and serve with pasta or gnocchi and lots of grated parmesan.