Braised fennel with tomato recipe
- Cuisine: Modern Australian
- Prep Time: 20 min(s)
- Cook Time: 1 hr(s) 15 min(s)
- Serves 6
Wine match Climbing Merlot 2010, Orange, NSW
This dish has a lovely, comforting Mediterranean feel to it and so should an accompanying wine. The key ingredients to think about are the thick tomato sauce and the chilli. Even only mild heat will push you towards a softer, fruitier red, rather than a big tannic beast. And this style will work nicely with the tomato, too. How about a merlot? The Coonawarra is a great region for this grape, so you could look there, but I fancy Orange as the emerging home of great, modern Aussie merlot, so look for this little beauty called Climbing – just the roundness that you want, while still having good structure, with ripe fruit leading the way.
Ingredients4 brown onions, sliced
200ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 long red chillies, chopped
3 jars organic whole peeled tomatoes (preferably Monjardin)
6 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut in half from top to bottom
1 tin anchovies (preferably Family Reserve)
Extra virgin olive oil
PreparationPreheat the oven to 160°C.
In a large shallow sauté pan (that is suitable to go into an oven), slowly sauté the onions in 150ml of olive oil, for approximately 15 minutes or until they start to go opaque. Add a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Add the chillies, with or without seeds depending on the heat level you prefer. Continue to sauté for a further 2 minutes over a gentle heat.
Add the tomatoes and reduce until thickened. Add the fennel, cut side up, pushing it just below the level of the onions and tomatoes. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the fennel. Season with cracked black pepper.
Place uncovered in the oven for 1 hour. The juices should reduce and caramelise. The fennel is ready when the liquid has evaporated.
Once cooked remove from the oven and place the anchovies on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with some crusty sourdough bread.
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When making gravlax, it’s important to first remove the small pin bones that aren’t attached to the main skeleton of the fish. Some fish mongers will have already done this for you, but to check, place the fillet skin-side down on a work surface and run your fingers along the centre of the flesh. You should be able to feel them. Using a pair of tweezers (straight-edged ones work best), pull the bone out following the natural curve of the fillet. If you find the flesh is tearing as you pull the bone out, chances are you’re pulling it in the wrong direction.
Extract of the maranta root it is a flavourless starch, ideally used for thickening sauces, juices and syrups; when heated the starch turns to jelly and so thickens the liquid.