3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium carrot, cut into large dice
½ white onion, cut into large dice
2 garlic cloves, quartered
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 large red onion, sliced crosswise into ¾-inch wheels
½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Choose an ovenproof skillet (with a lid) or Dutch oven large enough to fit the meat in snugly but still lie flat. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until deep brown in color. Remove the meat and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the carrot, onion and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables start to brown but are still firm. Return the meat to the pan, and add enough red wine to come ¾ of the way up the side of the meat.
4. Add the thyme and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise the meat for 2½ hours, checking occasionally to make sure the liquid does not dry out (if it does, add more wine). The meat should be very tender and soft enough to pull apart with a fork. Transfer to a plate to rest and cool.
5. While the meat cooks, roast the red pepper over a high flame, turning occasionally with tongs, until charred all over. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rest 20 minutes. Rub off the charred parts with your fingers (some charred parts are fine) and slice pepper into strips. If you do not have a gas stove, place pepper on a foil-covered baking sheet and place in the 350-degree oven, turning occasionally, until soft and wrinkled all over, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove and, when cool enough to touch, slice pepper into strips.
6. Brush the red onion with the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. In a skillet over high heat, grill the onion — without separating into individual rings — until charred on the outside and slightly cooked on the inside. Place in a bowl and separate into rings. Add the peppers, olive oil, sherry vinegar and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well.
7. Strain the liquid the meat was cooked in into a bowl. With two forks, separate the meat into chunky strings and roughly cut them crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Combine the meat with the juices, and coat well.
8. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Place 1 slice of cheese on each bottom and top half. Arrange the meat on the bottom halves and peppers on the top halves, and place all the roll pieces in the 350-degree oven. Cook until the cheese is melted. Place the top halves on the bottom halves, cut in half and serve.
Per serving: 883 calories; 44g fat; 23g saturated fat; 130mg cholesterol; 51g protein; 50g carbohydrate; 7g sugar; 4g fiber; 2,075mg sodium; 635mg calcium
Adapted from “’Wichcraft” by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortúzar