Pastisada is a thousand-year-old specialty of Verona. It is traditionally prepared with horse meat, but I have found the recipe works fabulously with beef as well. Do not be dissuaded by the rather long ingredient list; the dish is actually simple to prepare. You just have to be patient enough to let the meat cook for 6 hours. Traditionally, the wine used is Amarone, a rich jammy Veronese wine made from dried grapes, which can be somewhat pricey. A possible and more economical alternative is a good, rich Zinfandel. Serve with polenta, the traditional pairing, or mashed potatoes.
This dish can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
© 2005 Giuliano Hazan. All rights reserved.