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    Braised celery hearts

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    Braised celery hearts

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    2 celery hearts, trimmed
    2 tbsp olive oil
    15g unsalted butter
    100g smoked bacon lardons
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    3 medium tomatoes, seeds scooped out, flesh finely chopped
    1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
    20g pecorino

    Method

    1. Halve the celery hearts through the root. Put a large frying pan or saucepan (wide enough to hold all the celery) over a medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has started to sizzle, lay the celery hearts in the pan, cut-side down, and fry for around 10-15 minutes, until nicely browned; transfer to a plate. Add the lardons to the pan, fry for a few minutes, then return the celery hearts to the pan, uncooked-side down. Continue to fry for about 5 minutes, until the lardons are golden, then turn the heat down to low. Boil the kettle.

    2. Add the garlic and tomatoes, stir to coat in the juices and season. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the celery halves. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the celery is tender.

    3. When the celery is cooked, remove the lid and turn the heat up a little; let the liquid simmer and reduce until there is only around 1cm left in the bottom (this will take 15 minutes or so). Transfer the celery hearts to a platter, stir the vinegar into the pan juices, then spoon them over the hearts. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and finish with shavings of pecorino. Delicious enjoyed with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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