Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Recipe: Celery Braised with Cheese & Pancetta
Ingredients: 1 head of Celery (if in the UK, use organic Celery, it has vastly more flavour; in Italy, standard Celery will be fine); 30g Butter; 1 tablespoon Olive Oil; 1 small Onion; 100g diced Pancetta; 2 cups of Chicken Stock; seasoning; half a cup of freshly-grated Parmesan.
1. Cut the Celery stalks away from the base, and remove any leaves (reserve for use in a salad or a vegetable stock); using a swivel-head peeler, remove the stringy outer surface of the Celery stalks, and cut them into 3" lengths.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
3. Finely dice the Onion. Heat the Butter and Oil together in a saute pan (something broad and shallow with a lid), and gently saute the diced Onion and the Pancetta for several minutes. As soon as you can smell the aroma of the Pancetta cooking, add the pieces of Celery, and stir around in the pan to mix with the Onion and Pancetta. Leave to cook gently for about five minutes.
4. Add the Stock to the pan. Raise the heat until the stock just starts to bubble, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the Celery is tender - it should take about 25 minutes or so.
5. Once the Celery is tender, remove it to a buttered oven dish. If any Stock remains, boil to reduce it to nothing, stirring constantly, then spoon the Onion and Pancetta mixture over the pieces of Celery. Season to taste.
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and place in the pre-heated oven for fifteen minutes.
Excellent with any roast meat, but particularly good with Veal or Chicken.