Veal, Olive and Pancetta Stew w/ Roasted Red Peppers

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Ingredients

  • 1½ tbsp Olive oil
  • 800 g Veal shoulder, cut into 4 cm dice
  • 200 g Pancetta lardons, 1 cm thick
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced (190 g net)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 100 ml pastis, or any aniseed based alcohol
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 2 beef tomatoes, cut into 4cm dice (570 g net)
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, cut into 3cm wedges (890 g net)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 g pitted green olives
  • salt and black pepper

Red pepper salsa

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 yellow pepper
  • 5 g mint leaves, torn
  • 5 g dill, chopped
  • 10 g parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp caster sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Put a heavy based, 25 centimetre diameter, lidded saucepan on high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sear half the meat for about 5 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove and repeat with the remaining veal.

Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-high. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and add the pancetta, onion and garlic. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the onion has softened and both the pancetta and onion are starting to brown. Add the fennel seeds and paprika and cook for a minute to release their flavours. Deglaze the pan with the pastis and white wine, give it a good stir and leave to gently boil for 2 minutes. Put the browned veal back in the pot along with the tomatoes, fennel, bay, 1 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper. Top the stew with 400 millilitres of water so the meat is just covered. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour and 40 minutes, skimming occasionally. Remove the lid, add the olives and increase the heat to a gentle boil. Cook like this for 20 minutes allowing the liquid to reduce until the sauce thickens and the meat is tender.

Meanwhile make the salsa. Put the red and yellow peppers on a roasting tray and place in the hot oven until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove, place in a bowl and cover with cling film until slightly cooled. Peel and discard the skin and seeds and chop the peppers into 1 cm long strips. Place those in a medium bowl and add the remaining salsa ingredients, along with a generous pinch of salt.

Spoon the salsa over the hot stew and serve immediately.