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Veronese Horse Meat Stew Recipe - Pastissada de Caval


Pastissada With Polenta

Pastissada With Polenta

© Kyle Phillips, licensed to About.Com
Yes, caval means horse, and this is indeed a traditional Veronese horse meat stew, made with Amarone wine and paprika to taste -- the former local, and the latter revealing Austro-Hungarian influences from the period when the Veneto was part of the Austrian empire.
If the idea of eating horse bothers you, you can use beef instead -- it won't be quite as rich in iron, but will still be very good.

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes


  • 2 pounds (1 k) horsemeat, cut from the rump, or beef if you must
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves
  • A dozen coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 ounces (50 g) lard or porkback fat
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bottle full bodied, dry red wine - Purists call for Reiciotto Amarone or Valpolicella Superiore, but a less expensive red will work just as well
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter kneaded in flour
  • Flour
  • Paprika to taste (2-3 tablesoons, not too strong)


Lardoon the meat with the lard and slivers of carrots. Dice the other vegetables and put them with the meat and the spices except the paprika in a bowl; pour the wine over everything, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for three days, turning the meat occasionally.

Pat the meat dry (reserve the vegetables and the marinade), flour it, and brown it in the oil, in a pot over a brisk flame. Add the vegetables, and when they've cooked for a few minutes, pour the marinade over the meat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about three hours. Once the meat is done, remove it to a platter and blend the sauce.

Return the sauce to the fire, thicken it with the butter-flour ball, and season it to taste with paprika. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve, with polenta and the side dishes you prefer.

The wine? Amarone or Valpolicella Superiore, or a Cabernet-Merlot blend along the lines of Valcalepio.

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