Aired February 25, 2011
1/4 pound pancetta, diced, optional
2 pounds flank steak or chuck steak, chopped into small dice, pat dry with paper towels
Salt and pepper
About 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, a scant palmful
2 red cherry chili peppers or red Fresno chili peppers, sliced or seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
About 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 28-ounce cans cannellini beans or chick peas, drained
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry wine, red or white or 1 cup Italian beer
3 cups beef stock
Shredded provolone cheese
Finely chopped raw onion
Chopped fresh mozzarella
Heat EVOO in pot over medium-high heat, add pancetta, brown to crisp, and drain to a paper towel. Season steak with salt and pepper and add to the pan in batches to brown.
Combine the pancetta, steak, fennel seeds, peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, beans, tomato paste, wine and stock in the slow-cooker crock pot, and then close the lid. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
Serve in bowls topped with garnishes.