If you purchased a roast, you need to cut it into 3” square chunks (it shrinks as it’s cooked). Stew meat, you take what you got. Place in a non-reactive container and season it with salt and pepper fearlessly.
Chop 1” chunks of carrot, onion and celery in any preferred proportion (peeled, please) and fold into the meat. Hands work best.
Pour enough red wine into the container to barely cover the meat. Go outside and pick some thyme and cut a couple bay leaves and poke them into the mix so they are submerged. The more the merrier. Place plastic wrap down on the surface to eliminate air and put in the fridge for two days, folding with a rubber spatula top to bottom twice a day when you remember.
Strain meat and drain 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and reserving liquid. Separate meat and vegetables. Roast meat on a sheet pan in a 400° oven until deliciously brown on one side and then turn the pieces over to the other side to brown.
Meanwhile, gently heat the reserved wine until the proteins that have leached from the meat have coagulated and then carefully pour off the clear liquid and reserve.
Sauté vegetables in Dutch oven or enamel cast iron pot or heavy stainless- steel pot with lively heat until sweated. Add some tomato paste (1 tablespoon per person) and let it start to brown. Deglaze with clarified liquid and stir. Add meat to the pot. Mix well. If need be, add enough other liquid (water, stock) to pot so meat is half submerged. If you have some pork skin put it in now. Or a pig’s foot. Cover tightly.
Place in preheated 300° oven for 2 to 3 hours, checking for tenderness when you get curious after an hour and a half. When desired tenderness is reached adjust consistency of sauce by adding more liquid or straining and reducing.
K-B Market and Kitchen School, 11986 Augustine Herman Highway, Kennedyville, MD, (410) 348-3142, k-bmarket.com