Veal with dried persimmons and tart berries
This is a lovely dish I had at Lavka Lavka in Moscow – I more or less guessed the recipe. You can buy dried persimmons from healthysupplies.co.uk, or use unsulphured dried apricots.
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1.3kg veal shin
2 large onions, roughly chopped 2 celery sticks, finely chopped ½ tsp allspice berries, ground 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground 125ml red wine
450ml good-quality beef stock (if using bought stock, reduce it over heat so it is condensed)
1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes in thick juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
150g dried persimmons, chopped (or dried, unsulphured apricots) 30g tart dried berries, such as sour cherries or cranberries dill sprigs, to garnish
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can be easily moved (or you will tear the meat). Season as you go. Remove the veal when browned. Remove all but 2 tbsp of fat from the pan and add the onions and celery. Sauté over a medium heat until the onions are golden and quite soft. Add the ground allspice and coriander and cook for 2 minutes, then add the red wine. Boil this to reduce. Add 300ml of the beef stock along with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to just under the boil, season, cover with a lid and put in the oven. Bake for 3 hours, checking every so often to make sure the meat isn’t getting too dry, and turning the meat over. Add the remaining stock as needed. When the 3 hours are up, if it is not tender, cook for another 30 minutes. You can remove the bones, but I serve it as it is, and garnish with dill. Buckwheat and sour cream are good with this, or a rice pilaf.
Preheat the oven to 170C / 160C fan/gas mark 3½. Heat the oil in a broad-based casserole and brown the bits of veal on both sides, in batches. Be careful not to turn them over until they