- Total: 3 hr
- Active: 45 min
- Yield:6 to 8 servings
- Preheat the oven to 300˚ F.
- Heat the oil in a large (11- to 12-inch) Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
- Meanwhile, season the short ribs all over with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Brown half the meat in the Dutch oven over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a bowl and brown the second batch. (Don’t cook them all in one batch or they won’t brown!) Transfer the second batch to the bowl and set aside.
- Off the heat, add the Cognac and 1/3 cup of the wine to the pot, scraping up any browned bits, then simmer over medium heat for one minute. Add the onions and fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Stir the tomatoes and tomato paste into the vegetables. Add the remaining 2/3 cup of wine, the beef broth, the seared meat (and juices), 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and bake for 1 1/4 hours, checking occasionally to be sure the liquid is simmering.
- Degrease the stew, if necessary. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, cover and bake for one hour longer, until the vegetables and meat are very tender when tested with a fork. Just before serving, stir in the peas and pancetta, taste for seasonings and serve hot in large, shallow bowls.
To make this meal ahead, reheat the stew over medium-low heat, adding beef broth and a splash of red wine.
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