Pašticada is a famous Croatian dish. A must try when you visit Dalmatia. The meat is incredibly tender and sweet dessert wine prošek gives it just the right seasoning.
I’ve seen many disputes about what is the proper way to prepare it. Some put apples in it, others don’t and claim that it is not the same dish then. It always happens with old traditional recipes. Everybody has it’s own version and everybody thinks his is the real and best
1 large piece of beef round (about 1,5 kg)
4 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 celery root, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 tsp sugar
100 g pancetta, sliced
200 ml red wine vinega
100 ml olive oil
300 ml clear beef broth
200 ml red wine
200 ml prošek
100 g raisins
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp tomato puree
Make cuts sizes of garlic and pancetta pieces all over the beef. Place a piece of garlic or pancetta in each hole. Do the same with cloves. Place meat in a large ceramics bowl. Pour vinegar and 200 ml water, cover and leave in the fridge for 1,5-2 days to marinate. Start on Friday if you want to have it for Sunday dinner. While marinating, turn it over occasionally.
On the day of preparation, remove meat from marinade, dry it and reserve marinade for later cooking.
Pour oil in a large, deep frying pan and when it heats add onions, celery, carrots and sugar. When vegetables become soft and fragrant add meat and fry on all sides just to get nice color. My pan was not big enough, so I took most of the vegetables out, fried the meat and then returned the vegetables to the pan.
Add broth and let simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Pan should be covered, but not completely. You can put a piece of aluminum foil over and leave it opened slightly so that the part of steam can go out, or if you have a lid that has a hole for steam it would be even better. During cooking, if too much liquid evaporates, add some marinade.
Add raisins, prunes, nutmeg, wine and prošek and let boil. Take the meat out of the pan and cut into slices. Return to the pan, add tomato puree and let boil again.
Serve with gnocchi.