Much simpler than a daube, this red wine beef stew is based on the Tuscan peposo, which is usually pared down to the bare bones – beef, red wine, garlic, pepper and salt. Sometimes I tuck a bay leaf in too alongside the chestnuts that soften and soak up the broth. Wet polenta or mashed potato provide a bit of buttery ballast. Use a proper Gruyère, aged for eighteen months or more, or else something similar like Maréchal, L’Etivaz or Beaufort. Beef shin is an ideal cut for a stew like this. It requires no browning, just lots of time; simmering gently into submission.
Extract credit to: Sardine: Simple seasonal Provençal cooking by Alex Jackson, published by Pavilion Books. Image credit to Matt Russell.