Serve this tender, fall-off-the-bone meat with bread, polenta, or sauteed Swiss chard. You can also present it as a "sauce" by shredding the meat, mixing it with the leftover tomatoes from the pan, and tossing with pasta. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).
- 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chuck steak, or 2 pounds if boneless
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat and swirl in the olive oil. Brown the meat on both sides. Remove the meat from the skillet and take the pan off the heat.
Stir into the pan the garlic, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and whole tomatoes. Mash up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, return the meat to the pan, spoon the sauce over it, and cover tightly.
Braise in the oven for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened up.