Baked Beef Ragu

beef ragu

With the colder weather in full swing I’ve been further experimenting with slow braises and casseroles.  The above dish is a result from playing around in the kitchen.  As I stated in my beef stifado recipe I like to use chuck steak in my casserole cooking.  It’s a cheap cut of meat, with a good amount of fat that melts as it is slowly cooked.  I buy it in big pieces and cut it accordingly.  What I did different this time was to grind it myself using the food processor.  I was after a coarse grind but it ended up a little finer than I would have preferred.  This dish is traditionally associated with spaghetti bolognaise but I can tell you now this recipe or method is nowhere near Bologna.  I cooked this in a sealed cast iron pot in the oven for a good three hours on a very gentle heat.  Although I did start it off on the stove top for the first half hour.  It turned out gloriously rich with beautiful meaty flavours.

ingredients for beef ragu

As with most slow cooked dishes I like to use a base of  finely diced onions or leeks, celery and carrots.  I like to fry these off in a combination of olive oil  and butter.  Adding a little chopped pancetta is a nice flavour enhancer at this point too.  The liquid you choose will also vary the flavour of the dish.  In this case I used a good quality red wine and some home made beef stock along with some crushed tomatoes.  I added some fresh thyme but you could add pretty much anything you wanted.  Flat leaf parsley would be a good choice here too.  This tasted fantastic the next day and I froze a lot for future use.  Always good to have a back up plan in the freezer.

pasta shells with a beef ragu

Serve it up with your favourite pasta or use it as a filling for stuffed vegies…I’ll leave that up to you.  Just remember to enjoy it with a good red!  I know I did!

Related Posts