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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Pappardelle with Shredded Beef Brisket
Pappardelle with Shredded Beef Brisket
(Pappardelle con Stracotto)

For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) lean beef, cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) carrots, coarsely chopped
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Pasta:
1 (2-lb) piece beef brisket
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots
2 medium celery ribs
2 large red onions (1 lb total)
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 (14- to 15-oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
8 garlic cloves
1 lb dried pappardelle or fettuccine pasta

Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to the boil, bearing in mind that slow cooking and gentle simmering are essential for successful stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the onion, carrots, leeks and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl, leave to cool, then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and discard.

Prepare the Pasta:
Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325F.

Pat brisket dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add brisket and brown on both sides, about 12 minutes total.

Cut carrots, celery, and onions into 1-inch pieces, then pulse in 2 batches in a food processor until finely chopped.

Transfer brisket to a platter.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped vegetables to pot, then saute over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes.

Add wine, stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, and 7 whole garlic cloves and bring to a boil.

Return brisket with any juices on platter to pot and cover, then transfer to oven.

Braise brisket, turning over once per hour, until tender enough to shred with a fork, about 3 hours.

Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch chunks, then shred with 2 forks.

Discard bay leaves from sauce and puree sauce in 2 batches in food processor or a blender.

Mince remaining garlic clove.

Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in cleaned pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute garlic, stirring, 1 minute.

Add meat and saute, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Stir in sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Cook pappardelle in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain, then return to pot and add meat sauce. Makes 6 main-course servings

Note: Meat sauce can be made 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat before serving.
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