4beef cheeks (about 1kg)500 mlred wine1½ tbspolive oil1onion, coarsely chopped4garlic cloves, coarsely chopped1 tbsptomato paste1 litre (4 cups)beef stock4rosemary sprigs2 tbspbrown sugar, or to taste80 ml (1/3 cup)saba (see note)60 ml (¼ cup)red wine vinegar, or to tastePappardelle1 quantityegg-yolk pasta doughFor dusting:fine semolinaGremolata1 cup(loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely choppedFinelygrated rind of 2 lemons1garlic clove, finely chopped
Combine beef cheeks and red wine in a non-reactive container, refrigerate to marinate overnight, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 110C. Heat oil in a large casserole over high heat. Remove beef from marinade (reserve marinade), pat dry and cook, turning once, until browned (1-2 minutes each side), remove beef, set aside. Reduce heat to low, add onion and garlic to casserole, sauté until tender (7-10 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir occasionally until paste darkens (1-2 minutes). Add stock, three rosemary sprigs, reserved marinade and bring to the simmer. Add beef, cover and cook in oven until very tender (3-3½ hours).
Meanwhile, for pappardelle, cut pasta into 2cm-thick ribbons and set aside on a tray dusted with semolina.
Remove beef from liquid, strain liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add sugar, saba, vinegar and remaining rosemary. Reduce liquid over medium heat until slightly thickened (10-15 minutes). Season to taste, adding more sugar and vinegar to taste. Coarsely shred beef, toss through sauce, keep warm.
For gremolata, combine ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine and set aside.
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (1-2 minutes). Drain, toss through beef sauce and serve hot, scattered with gremolata.
Note Saba is a thick, sweet condiment made from
grape must. If unavailable, substitute vincotto.