Beef Daube with Shiitake Mushrooms
beef chuck roast
dry, zinfandel or burgundy
dried, broken into 2 or 3 pieces, other left whole
small, seashells or orecchiette
Cut the chuck into 2 to 2½ inch cubes.
Trim off any large pieces of fat.
If using shanks, cut the meat from the bone in pieces as large as possible.
Place the meat in a large nonreactive bowl.
Quarter 1 of the onions and add to the meat along with the carrots, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, half of the salt and half of the pepper, 2 garlic cloves and the orange peel.
Pour the wine over all and turn to mix and immerse the ingredients.
Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 4 hours.
To cook, put the salt pork in a heavy-bottomed casserole large enough to hold all ingredients.
Cook over medium-low heat until the pork releases its fat, about 5 minutes.
Discard the crisped bits of pork.
Dice the remaining onion and mince the remaining garlic cloves.
Add to the pot and sauté until translucent. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Drain the meat (reserve the marinade) and pat it as, dry as possible.
Add a few pieces of meat to the casserole (do not crowd) and sauté about 5 minutes, turning once or twice.
The meat will darken, but will not truly "brown."
Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Continue until all the meat has been sautéed.
Add the flour to the casserole and cook it until it browns, stirring often.
Increase the heat to high, and slowly pour in the reserved marinade.
Deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits clinging to the bottom.
Return the onions, garlic, meat and its juices to the pan.
Add the remaining salt and pepper, the water and the mushrooms and bring to a near-boil.
Reduce heat to very low, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer for 2½ to 3 hours, or until the meat can be cut with a spoon and the liquid has thickened.
Remove from the heat.
Discard the carrots, herb branches and the onion quarters.
Skim off some, but not all of, the fat (some is necessary to coat the pasta).
Prepare the pasta according to package directions; drain well.
Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and ladle the sauce from the daube over it, adding more salt and pepper, if desired.
Top with ¼ cup of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the parsley.
Serve the daube directly from its casserole.
Pass additional cheese at the table.
Serves 6 to 8.