Friday, December 30, 2011

Beef & Shiraz Ragu

The most popular ragu by far is the incredibly well know Bolognese. Ragu, to put it as simply as possible, is a meaty pasta sauce simmered for a long time whilst the fragrant aromas develop and permeate the home creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Ok, so maybe the last part was a bit of poetic licence, but when you have so many different ingredients simmering away on the stove, it is hard to ignore them and not allow yourself to indulge yourself in their fragrance! I truly love slow cooked foods for this reason – they allow you to indulge and engulf yourself in not only the sense of taste, but also the sense of smell as you are overwhelmed with the aromas!

What Will I Need?

2 tablespoons olive oil
500g Beef, diced into 2-3cm cubes
2 tbs plain flour
1 Large Brown Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
150g Pancetta, diced
2 dried bay leaves
¼ tsp dried Thyme
¼ tsp dried Rosemary
¼ tsp dried Sage
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 cup Red Wine, Shiraz
1 cup Beef Stock
400g can Diced Tomatoes
Cooked pasta, to serve
Grated Parmesan, to serve

What Will I Need?

1.         In a mixing bag, add both beef and flour and then give it a good shake until the beef is covered in flour.

2.         Now, heat about 1 tbs of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, before adding the beef, allowing it to brown for about 5 minutes or until each side is sealed.

3.         Remove the meat from the pan and pop it into a bowl, and then in the already hot saucepan add the remaining oil followed by the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and pancetta.

4.         Give it all a good stir for about 3 minutes or until the onion has started to turn translucent. It’s now time to add the beef again and give it a good stir!
5.         Finally, add the thyme, rosemary, sage, balsamic vinegar, stock and diced tomatoes, stirring thoroughly so everything is all mixed up.

6.         Bring the heat up to high and allow the ragu to come to a boil,before reducing to a low heat and covering with a lid.

7.         Allow to simmer for 1 ½ hours, before removing the lid and letting simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

8.         Serve with pasta and top with parmesan and enjoy the taste as well as all the smells that have filled your home as this bubbled away!