Except for those with high cholesterol or digestive disorders, this is high season for beef stew – the ultimate comfort food (ok, right after matzo ball soup) for these cold-blasting winter days. Since preparing my three favorite stand-bys – Dijon & Cognac Beef Stew, Roni’s Beef Stew, and 21st Centruy Beans & Flanken – I went searching for something new and different on my new favorite food website, cooking.nytimes.com.
Sicilian Beef Ragout stood out proudly from the rest, bedecked gorgeously with quartered roasted Roma tomatoes. Off to the market for the fourth time in as many weeks for a whole piece of boneless chuck, and the tomatoes, fresh herbs, leek and fennel that were essential for this dish.
I shamelessly repost Florence Fabricant’s recipe from that site, along with her Potato Torte that was the perfect accompaniment. This is a meal that will warm your soul no matter how many inches of snow nor how loudly the north wind howls:
SICILIAN BEEF RAGOUT
reposted from the NY Times Cooking Site
My only changes here were to leave the meat in the oven about 2-1/2 hours, and to reduce the sauce a bit with the solids removed. I kept the roasted tomatoes separate until serving time, when everything was rewarmed and then assembled as shown above.
No changes to this – it was perfect just as written, using a 9″ springform pan heavily buttered and lined on the bottom with buttered parchment paper: