Spaghetti with Braised Beef & Fennel Recipe | Abel & Cole

Spaghetti with Braised Beef & Fennel

Cooking time
Serves4 people

Dish up a taste of la dolce vita with this Italian-inspired mix of organic beef, fennel and cherry tomato braised tossed with strands of spaghetti and topped with a zingy lemon, garlic and herb gremolata. Buon appetito!

Ingredients

  • 500g beef stir-fry strips
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 200g carrots
  • 400g tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 lemon
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 250-400ml boiling water
  • 4 tbsp cold water

Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 1 hr-8 hrs 10 mins

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Method

1. Warm a large frying pan (or saucepan, if you’re braising the beef sauce on the hob) for 2 mins, then add 1 tbsp oil and the beef stir-fry strips. Fry, stirring every so often, for 8-10 mins till the steak is browned all over.
2. While the beef is cooking, peel and chop the onion. Peel and thinly slice 1 garlic clove (keep the other clove for later). Trim the fennel, reserving any feathery fronds. Cut the bulb in half then thinly slice it. Trim and peel the carrots then thickly slice them. From this point follow the method for cooking the braise in the slow cooker or on the hob.
3. In the Slow Cooker: Tip the beef into a 3½ ltr slow cooker. Add in the onion, garlic, fennel and carrots. Tip in 2 tsp fennel seeds and tin of cherry tomatoes. Pop on the lid. Set the slow cooker to medium and cook for 8 hrs. For a faster stew, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 5-6 hrs, or set to low and cook for 8-10 hrs.
4. When the beef has 20 mins left to cook, put a large pan of water on a high heat. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Carefully add the spaghetti and cook for 8-10 mins till the spaghetti is al dente (soft with a slight bite).
5. While the spaghetti is cooking, whip up your gremolata. Zest and juice the lemon into a medium bowl. Peel and finely grate or crush the remaining garlic clove. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks and the reserved fennel fronds from earlier. Add everything to the bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together.
6. Taste the beef and add a pinch more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Drain the spaghetti and divide between 4 warm plates or bowls. Top with the braised beef and fennel. Drizzle over the gremolata to serve.
7. On the Hob: When the beef is browned, lift it out of the pan and pop in a bowl. Add 4 tbsp water to the pan then add the onion and fennel. Fry on a medium low heat, stirring now and then, for 8 mins till softened and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 2 mins.
8. Add the carrots and tinned cherry tomatoes to the pan. Tip the beef back in. Pour in 400ml hot water and add some salt and pepper. Simmer on a medium heat for 1 hr till the carrots are soft and the beef is tender. The sauce should have reduced and thickened. Stir every now and then and if the sauce is looking dry, add a splash or two of water.
9. When the beef has 20 mins left to cook, put a large pan of water on a high heat. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Carefully add in the spaghetti and cook for 8-10 mins till the spaghetti is al dente (soft with a slight bite).
10. While the spaghetti is cooking, whip up your gremolata. Zest and juice the lemon into a medium bowl. Peel and finely grate or crush the remaining garlic clove. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks and the reserved fennel fronds from earlier. Add everything to the bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together.
11. Taste the beef and add a pinch more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Drain the spaghetti and divide between 4 warm plates or bowls. Top with the braised beef and fennel. Drizzle over the gremolata to serve.
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