A second meat course dedicated to lovers of spicy flavours. really special there pastisada in the Feltrewith its long maceration in red wine flavored with a symphony of aromas (all of the classic Italian fritters) and spices (cloves and cinnamon).
The recipe for this Venetian stew clearly denotes ancient origins. And also the fact that they later enriched themselves with the tastes and trades of the rich merchants of Venice. In Venetian dialect, in fact, until recently the term pastissada meant horse stew. With precise reference to the year 489 d. C., when the Gothic invaders won a decisive battle in Verona for the conquest of Italy. On that occasion the hungry citizens were finally satisfied with the meat of the horses left in the field. Meat in abundance, which, in order not to perish too soon, is cut into pieces and marinated in wine.
Since then the tradition of pastisada Veneta has continued to this day. Enriching with the time of this and that depending on the habits and availabilities that the territory offers. There are so many different versions, starting with the most traditional, which is pastissada de caval from verona. But in imitation of it, numerous generic Venetian stew recipes were born, mostly from beef and of veal, but not only. Actually, it is made with all game meat, including -very traditionally- that of donkey (Pastissada of mussoin Venetian).
I our case, the term felt girl obviously refers to Feltre and the area to which it gives its name (the Feltrino) near the southern Dolomites.
As for each pastisada, the characteristic of this Venetian stew is the very long marinating in aromatized and spiced red wine. And then long cooking, which obviously depends on the meat: it can last up to 7 hours, in the case of horse and donkey.
It must also be said that in recent decades versions of Veneto stew have greatly increased in number. This is because, after passing the centuries with recipes that have remained more or less unchanged compared to the medieval ones, today they are also made with tomato. Also, it is now common to marinate and then cook whole meat, and then slice it after cooking, like a common roast.
But nothing strange: it is the normal evolution of all culinary traditions.
That said, the recipe does not present any particular difficulties. Just keep in mind that this Venetian stew is very aromatic. If you cook a whole cinnamon stick and 5 cloves for two hours, you should be sure that only cinnamon and clove fans are at the table. At least the first few times after marinating, reduce the amount of these two spices. AND watch out for nails, because compared to a cinnamon stick it will seem obvious to you to limit yourself to a small piece. While 5 teeth in total may not seem like much. Instead, even just 3 cloves can be felt after 2 hours of cooking. And they feel a lot, trust me.
- 600 g of beef meat cut into fairly large pieces
- 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine
- 50g butter
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 carrot
- ½ stalk of celery
- 5 nails
- Thyme (5-6 sprigs)
- Rosemary (a teaspoon of chopped needles)
- cinnamon, a stick
- black pepper
- Crush the garlic cloves and place them in a pot that is taller than it is wide, along with the cloves, thyme, rosemary, and cinnamon. Add a pinch of salt and sprinkle everything with two glasses of wine. Place the meat in the pot, then pour in the rest of the wine, which should completely cover it. Stir and marinate no less than overnight, but 24-36 hours is ideal.
- Chop the butter and brown for 3-4 minutes in a saucepan over very low heat. When the bottom of the pan is evenly greased with fat, add the coarsely chopped onion, carrot and celery. Mix and let dry for 7-8 minutes over a very low heat and covered, stirring several times.
- Meanwhile, drain the meat in a colander placed over the pot with the marinade, so the liquids run off to the back. When the sautéed vegetables are very soft, add the meat to the pan and brown for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly over medium high heat. Without exaggerating with the fire: the onion and other vegetables should not burn
- As soon as the meat is browned, pour in the wine used for the marinade and bring to a simmer. gently for 120 minutes with the lid on. If you think that the wine is too much and you want to reserve a glass, do it: you will add it if it is finally necessary. Of course, filter it before removing it, so that all the aromas and spices remain to flavor the stew. Only the cinnamon, avoid cooking it all: a small piece of stick (which is usually about 6-8 cm long) will suffice. Even the cloves, if you’re not sure you like them, remove a couple of them: 3 cloves that sit cooked for two hours, and how
- At the end of the two hours, remove the meat from the pan and reduce the bottom over a slightly hotter fire without a lid. When it appears to be the right consistency, sift it, to remove any spices and thyme sprigs, and flavor with a generous grind of pepper. Now pour the meat into the pan, stir, turn off the heat and let the Venetian stew stand for an hour with the lid on (better two or three hours, if possible). Then you will slightly heat yours. pastisada alla feltrina, over very low heat, just before serving
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