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Gennaro Contaldo's Tyrolean beef stew

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Gennaro Contaldo was born in Amalfi, Italy, and came to public attention as the chef who inspired Jamie Oliver when they worked together at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street restaurant.

He also co-presents the BBC2 Two Greedy Italians series with Carluccio and has published several cookbooks, including the recently released Slow Cook Italian, from which he shares the following recipe for Goulash Tirolese (Tyrolean beef stew).

Gennaro resized

Slow Cook Italian by Gennaro Contaldo, Harper Collins, $39.99.

“This classic stew from the Trentino-Alto Adige or South Tyrol region of northern Italy is slow cooked with onions, cumin and paprika – its distinct central European flavour is influenced by neighbouring Austria,” he writes in the recipe introduction.

“The gradual addition of stock gives this stew a gentle flavour; pancetta is added, so be careful not to make your stock too salty.

“This dish is traditionally served with runny polenta (cornmeal). It is also delicious with a piece of good country bread whose soft part is removed, cubed and toasted; the goulash is served in the bread crust and the toasted bits sprinkled on top – a dish fit for an Austrian king!”

Goulash Tirolese

Ingredients

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
100g pancetta, cubed
About 1 litre (4 cups) hot vegetable stock
1kg stewing beef, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp paprika
2 sprigs thyme
Polenta (cornmeal) or toasted country bread, to serve

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent sticking, until softened. Remove and set aside.

Add the pancetta to the pan and cook on a medium heat until coloured but not burnt. Remove from the pan and set aside. Return the onions to the pan, add about 3 tablespoons of stock and cook for a minute or so until the liquid has evaporated.

Add the beef, increase the heat and brown the meat all over. Add 100ml (scant ½ cup) of stock, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 30 minutes, then add another 100ml of stock and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme and pancetta. Add 400 ml of stock, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for a further 1 hour, gradually adding more stock and stirring from time to time to ensure the meat doesn’t stick.

Remove from the heat and serve with toasted country bread or runny polenta.

Serves four

For a slow cooker

Cook the onions, pancetta and beef as above. Once the beef is browned add 750 ml (3 cups) stock, the garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme and pancetta. Bring to the boil, stirring, then transfer to a large slow cooker pot, press the meat beneath the liquid, cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

See InDaily interview with Contaldo here.

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