Friday, December 3, 2010

Sunday Recipe

I wanted to share this thrown-together recipe with you! I have no idea what to call it -- maybe I'll just be simple: peposo with date tapenade and goat cheese.

This dinner was inspired by Jamie Oliver's Peposo recipe in his cookbook Italy. Peposo is a peppery stew using beef or veal shank and a long, slow cooking process. I was unable to find beef shank so I used some sort of round and it turned out fine. The meat is just one component of this light meal or appetizer.

The night before:
2 lbs. beef shank or other beef cut suitable for the slow cooker
10 cloves of garlic, sliced
Dried or fresh rosemary
kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
enough Chianti to cover the meat
bay leaf

Slice the meat off the bone and layer the beef, garlic, rosemary, and salt & pepper. Place the bone and bay leaf on top of the last layer. Refrigerate and remove in the morning to allow to come to room temperature. Cover the meat with the wine. I used a little less than a whole bottle. Set the slow cooker to 'low' if you plan to cook for more than five hours.

That evening, slice a baguette into small rounds for crostini. I bake them at 350 for at least 10 minutes -- I really keep an eye on them. After they come out of the oven, I drizzle with olive oil.
In the mean time, for the tapenade:
7 or 8 pitted dates, chopped
at most 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette
a pinch of cayenne
rosemary and pepper
1/4 cup water

In a small saucepan, combine water and chopped dates. Bring to a boil and allow the water to evaporate/become absorbed. The dates will soften. Reduce the heat and add the balsamic, cayenne, and rosemary and pepper to taste. Stir often -- this is a sticky mess but worth it. I didn't think it needed salt but that's just my opinion.

Remove the peposo from the liquid in the crockpot with a slotted spoon. Shred the beef using two forks and add some of the liquid back to the beef to keep it from drying out.

Now it's finally time to assemble: Spread a good amount of goat cheese on the crostini, layer with the tapenade, and top with the beef. The sweet/pepper combination is really beautiful. Serve with a nice salad and a dry red wine.