IT WAS IN Rome, 20 years ago, where Shannon Bennett had his most memorable slow-cooked meal. “Some friends took me to a small backstreet local. I had the best osso buco I have ever eaten, even to this day, with the softest polenta,” he says.

“It was cooked over a wood stove for 12 hours and had incredibly fragrant oranges and tomatoes. I never want to replicate this meal at home because it’s the motivator in my search for great food every time I visit Italy.”

In his own kitchen, Bennett returns to slow cooking time and again because of one thing: the satisfaction. “Braising has a technical aspect to it that makes me feel like

I have achieved greatness. You’re making something ordinary into something extraordinary,” he says. “Plus, I love that one night I can make beef cheeks in a broth of root vegetables, then the following evening I can break up the leftovers and reheat them in a tomato sauce with some fresh gnocchi for a completely new experience.“ And as for sourcing the best ingredients for a slow-cooked dish? “Make sure you support your local butcher. They need our help now more than ever.”


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