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Braised Celery

Braised Celery


Poor old celery; it is more often an ingredient than the star of a dish. However, in this traditional Provencal recipe, it takes center stage. Beef is the ideal complement to the trinity of celery, tomatoes and anchovies so serve this with roast beef or grilled steaks.

 

SERVES 4-6

  • 2 whole heads of celery

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 75 g bacon lardons

  • 1 onion, quartered and sliced

  • 1 carrot, quartered lengthways and sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 200 g canned chopped tomatoes

  • 250 ml dry white wine

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 50 g canned anchovy fillets, about 8, chopped

  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Remove any tough outer stalks from the celery and trim the tips so they will just fit into a large saute pan with a lid.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, then the celery and simmer gently for 10 minutes to blanch. Remove, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  3. Heat the oil in the saute pan. Add the bacon lardons, onion and carrot and cook gently until lightly browned. Add the celery and a little salt and pepper and cook just to brown, then remove.

  4. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, wine and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Add the celery, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, turning the celery once during cooking.

  5. Transfer the celery to a serving dish. Raise the heat and cook the sauce to reduce it slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour it over the celery, sprinkle with the anchovies and parsley and serve.

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