One thing we love when the days turn cooler and the nights draw in is good, hearty, homemade comfort food. We’ve made this ragù recipe a lot when the weather starts to turn – the recipe yields masses of delicious slow cooked beef and then we boil up a big pan of pappardelle and just stir it through.
Sourced from a local butcher, we asked for the meat to first be tenderised. Although we love it with pappardelle and parmesan, it would be equally fantastic with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted seasonal veggies.
I N G R E D I E N T S
1-2 glugs of olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
200g smoked pancetta
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1kg beef (we used 1/2 short rib on the bone and top blade – silverside works just as well)
1 large glass of red wine
1 tbps of flour
3 tbsp of tomato purée – Bombá is always best if you have it!
200ml beef stock
2-3 bay leaves
600g tagliatelle (fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper
M E T H O D
1. If you’re using a regular oven rather than an AGA, preheat it first to 150C / 300F / Gas Mark 2.
2. Add 1-2 glugs of olive oil to a large le Creuset casserole dish and add the smoked pancetta. Fry for 5 minutes and then add the onion, celery, garlic and carrot and fry gently for 10 minutes. I used the simmering plate on the AGA – if you’re using gas or electric, then a gentle heat would be suitable.
3. Move the le Creuset over to the boiling plate, push the onion, celery, garlic, carrot and pancetta to the sides and then place the meat in the middle to brown. If you prefer you can remove the onion etc using a slotted spoon and then put back once you’ve browned the meat.
4. Once all the meat is nicely browned, turn the heat down (if you’re using an Aga, move the dish back to the simmering plate), add the flour and give it a good stir to coat the mixture entirely.
5. Next, add the wine and let it evaporate.
6. Add the beef stock and tomato purée and give the whole thing a really good stir.
7. Add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
8. Place in the bottom oven for 3-4 hours – for bigger cuts try and leave it for the full 4 hours. It also tastes, like so many things, absolutely fantastic the next day and it freezes so well too. We used a big shoulder joint so we shredded the beef once it was done cooking.
9. Serve with freshly cooked pappardelle, fresh shavings of parmesan and some fresh basil or rosemary.