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Serve this with Creamy Polenta...buon appetito!
Wine Paring Suggestion: Cabernet Sauvignon
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms1 tablespoon olive oil3 1/2 pounds beef chuckSalt and freshly ground black pepper1 medium yellow onion, finely diced1 carrot, finely diced1 stalk celery, finely diced5 cloves garlic, minced1/4 cup tomato paste2 teaspoons sugar1 cup full bodied red wine, Chianti or Cabernet3 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
Pour 3 cups boiling water over the mushroom and let stand until the water is cool.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy casserole over medium heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown the meat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized on both sides, 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften and turn golden, 15 minutes. Strain the porcini and reserve the liquid. Add the revived porcini mushrooms and the garlic to the pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the tomato paste, sugar, red wine, porcini soaking liquid and tomatoes. Increase the heat to high, add the tomato mixture and add the meat back into the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, turning the meat occasionally, until the meat is tender, 2 ½ to 3 hours. To see if the meat is tender, insert a knife or even a fork into the center of the meat. There should be no resistance and the meat should almost fall apart. If the sauce is too thick, add water ½ cup at a time.
Remove the meat from the pan and cover loosely with foil. Puree the sauce in a blender or a food mill until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the meat into ¼-inch slices and place on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce onto the top. Serve the remainder on the side in a small pitcher.
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