After my gigantic endeavor with the gardiane, I was a little burned out on dishes that were high on process. Yet I was committed to those slow cooking ideals I've been talking so much about. And... I had some veal stew meat I'd purchased in my whirlwind through the Italian market.
I adapted a recipe for Neopolitan Lamb Stew from my favorite slow cookbook, and used up all the leftover chopped-and-diced ingredients. And what I made was eloquent, soul-stirring, epic. But all it was: veal stew meat braised in wine. I barely glanced at the recipe. But I'd developed a winning, all-purpose slow cooking formula.
Here it is: you take your meat, in chunks. You coat it in a little flour and salt, brown it in oil, and set aside. You add in a mirrepoix (diced carrots, onions, and celery) to the pan, plus garlic if you're into that. Saute until soft then deglaze with French red wine (about a cup). Dump it all into the pan, maybe with some broth or canned tomatoes, a little thyme or rosemary, and let it simmer for hours. Voilá! Bistro-style stew. And you can tell them it was just a little something you threw together. And you know what? It's kind of true.