3poundschicken,pheasant, lamb, venison or rabbit, in serving pieces
2large onions,sliced root to tip
1jar (15 ounces or so), or 5 roasted red sweet peppers,chopped
2cupsred or white wine
Stock if needed(whatever goes with your choice of meat)
1/2cupdiced cured meat: Bacon,pancetta, ham, etc.
1tablespoonchopped fresh rosemary
1/2cupchopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
Large handful of dried mushrooms(optional)
If using, put the mushrooms in a container just large enough to hold them and pour hot water over them. Cover and set aside.
Salt the meat and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Use this time to chop the veggies.
Pat the meat dry and pour the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a lid. Heat the pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides in batches. Do not overcrowd the pot. Set the meat aside in a bowl when browned. Take your time and do this right. Add more oil if needed.
When the meat is browned, add the onions and stir to bring up some of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the onions with a little salt. Cook until they begin to brown, then add the garlic, the cured meat and the mushrooms, if using. Cook until fragrant, then add the meat back to the pot and mix well.
Pour in the wine and turn the heat up to high. Stir and boil furiously until the wine is half gone. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the tomatoes, the roasted red peppers and all the spices and herbs (except the parsley). Stir well. The level of liquid should be about 2/3 the way up the sides of the meat. If it is low, add the stock. I typically need about 2 cups.
Cover and cook at a bare simmer — just barely bubbling — until done. How long is that? Depends on the meat. Rarely is any meat done within an hour, but I’d check a store-bought chicken then. I find pheasants and rabbits take about 90 minutes, boar, pork and hares about 2 hours, and venison and beef up to 3 hours or more. Use your judgment.
Right before serving, test for salt and add some if needed. Add black pepper and the parsley and stir well. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, polenta or bread. Simple sauteed greens are a good accompaniment. A big red wine is also a must, ideally something Spanish, like a Rioja.