Trinchado Beef Pasta, with Focaccia and Leafy Salad

I’ve been tasked to come up with a recipe that would pair best with a wine varietal that is, perhaps, not that well known. The grape, Tinta Barocca, hails from Portugal, and is very well know in the production of port, however, thanks to a happy mistake it is now used by a few farms, mostly in South Africa, to produce wine too.

I am pairing today’s meal with the Wildehurst Tinta Barocca. Given the cold and wet weather we’ve been having, I wanted to make something hearty, but nothing so heavy that it would overshadow the wine. A meaty pasta would be the perfect meal to accompany this wine, however, I thought it would be nice to mirror another South African favourite, with strong Portuguese influence…Trinchado!

Trinchado is a beef stew made with peppers and olives. So today, I will be doing a mashup of a Beef Ragu (made with Trinchado flavours) with Pappardelle Pasta. I’ll also include a simple salad and a moreish, Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia.

The Ragu is low and slow cooking at its best. If you have a slow cooker, put it in in the morning, and it’ll be ready that evening. Otherwise, just follow the instructions below. I have included a recipe for fresh pasta too. I’m making it without any special equipment. If you have a pasta machine, go ahead and use it, however, if making fresh pasta just isn’t your vibe, any fresh, or dry store-bought variety is absolutely fine. Same goes for the Focaccia … unless you’re bored, or a fan of baking, just visit your local bakery, or grab some garlic bread at the supermarket.

 

Trinchado Ragu

I’m going to serve with stew with pasta, but it would be delicious served with soft polenta, mashed potatoes or even just a chunk of crusty bread.

Ingredients:

1.5kg Stewing Beef (Different stewing cuts take different times to cook soft, but this is going to cook for so long, I don’t think it matters which cut you choose. Chuck is probably the most popular cut to use, but today I am using short rib)

1 tbsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

3 tbsp Olive Oil

3 chopped, Cloves Garlic

1 cup chopped Onion

1 cup chopped Carrot

1 cup chopped Celery

1 cup chopped Bell Pepper

Fresh Herbs (Any Mediterranean herbs will work. I have thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and oreganum, so I’m going to use them all)

3 tbsp Tomato Paste

1 tin Chopped Tomatoes

1 cup Dry Red Wine

2 cups Beef Stock (If you use a store-bought stock, or cubes, you may need to adjust the amount of salt in the dish because most of them already contain salt)

1 cup Olives, pips removed

             

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Choose a deep pan or pot that is oven proof to make this ragu…it reduces the dishes in the end. Heat the pot on the stove and add a little olive oil.
  • Season your chunks of meat and brown them in the pan. Remove the meat once nicely coloured, add the remaining olive oil and vegetables.
  • Once the vegetables have started to soften, add the garlic and herbs.
  • After 2 mins, add the tomato paste and stir. Put the beef back into the pot.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, and stock, and bring the whole lot up to the boil.
  • Seal the dish with very tight-fitting lid or a double layer of foil.
  • Place the dish in the oven for a minimum of 3 hours. Halfway though, you can check if there is still sufficient liquid in the dish. If you’re concerned, add a little water at this stage. (if you are using a slow cooker, it could take up to 8 hours)
  • Remove the dish from the oven and shred the meat with a fork. If you have bones in the meat, you can remove them at this point.
  • Add the olives and check the seasoning.
  • Add your cooked pasta and serve with lashings of parmesan cheese!

 

Pasta Dough

Ingredients:

2 cups Plain Flour (plus extra for dusting)

3 xl Eggs

1 tbsp Olive Oil

¾ tsp fine salt

Method:

  • Place the flour on your work surface and make a crater in the centre.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, and with your hands, start working the flour into the mix until everything comes together to form a crumbly dough.
  • Start kneading…this may take a while because the dough needs to become elastic and stretchy. I’d say it’ll take about 10 mins of constant kneading.
  • Wrap the dough in some cellophane and leave it to rest for 30mins at room temperature.
  • Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Flour the surface and the dough. Using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll the dough out into long, strips. You can choose the thickness of the dough, in find the thinner, the better.
  • Roll up the strips into “sausages” and use a sharp knife to slice them into rings that, when unrolled, will resemble pasta noodles. I’m making thick pappardelle noodles, but you can do linguini, spaghetti, tagliatelle…whatever your preference is.
  • At this point, you can roll them into nests that will need a dusting of flour to keep the strips from sticking.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Dop the nests in the water and give it a gentle stir to separate the noodles. Cook the pasta for about 2mins to al dente. If you have chosen to make a thicker noodle, it may take a little longer.
  • Drain, and add it to your pasta sauce.

 

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Tepid Water

2 tsp Sugar/Honey

1 pkt Instant Yeast

4 cups Plain Flour

½ cup Olive Oil

2 tsp Flaked Salt

Toppings (today I’m using rosemary and chopped garlic, but you can use any cheese, olive, peppers, sundried tomatoes, onions…the options are endless)

 

Method:

  • In a bowl/stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Give it a gentle stir and leave it to stand for 5 mins. The liquid should look a little foamy…that means the yeast is active.
  • Add the flour and half the olive oil and begin mixing the dough. Whether using a mixer, or kneading by hand the dough should be elastic and soft. It will take about 10mins to knead it by hand.
  • Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and leave in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel until it doubles in size. It should take about 60mins, but it is dependent of the temperature of the room. If it has doubled in size, that’s all that matters.
  • Grease an oven tray with some of the remaining oil.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and fold it in on itself to gently knock it back.
  • Stretch the dough into a rectangle and place it on the greased tray. It doesn’t have to cover the whole surface…this bread is free form.
  • Spread your toppings over the surface and using your fingers, make dimples in the dough.
  • Leave the dough to rise a second time…this should only take about 20-30mins.
  • Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180°
  • Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the surface of the dough and bake until golden brown on the top. This should take approximately 20mins.
  • Once out of the oven, use a wide spatula or similar utensil to remove the bread and place on a cooling rack… that way the bottom stays nice and crispy!

 

 

Simple Leafy Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Mixed leaves (No need to be precious here…use what you like.)

Avocado (Again, use your favourite salad additions. I’m making a really simple one because it’s all about the dressing here, but I happily use the same dressing with a salad containing the entire fridge contents)

Pumpkin Seeds (leave these out or use any other combination of seeds or nuts)

 

Dressing:

½ cup Olive oil

¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 chopped garlic Clove

1 tsp Wholegrain Mustard

1 tsp Honey

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  • Prepare your salad ingredients.
  • Make the dressing by placing the ingredients in a jar, sealing it, and giving it a good shake.
  • Dress your salad just before serving!
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