Tuesday, February 10, 2009

basic beef ragu

what you need

500 grams (1pound)of lean beef shoulder or beef rump 
1/2 glass red wine 
1 medium size carrot, roughly diced
2 stalks of celery, roughly diced
3 small onions,
2 table spoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons butter
1 tin tin of peeled tomato (1 kilo fresh tomatoes)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

what to do

Clean and dice the meat

Gently fry the carrot and celery a couple of minutes in butter and oil,

Fry the meat in the pan with the vegetables. It should not get dark. Cover and simmer until the meat absorbs all the juice and then add half a glass of red wine.

The meat should cook reasonably fast but must have time to absorb all the juices, about35 minutes. Add tomato pulp and paste. The carrot and celery flavour should not pre-dominate, the main flavour should be of meat and tomato. If you want the sauce dark, then you can brown the meat, but the flavour will not be as good. Don't let the sauce stick to bottom of pan as this will give a heavy braised flavour to the ragu. After tomato is added, cover and cook another 30 minutes covered till fully tender.

You can make ragu, with meat on the bone or off the bone. To cook on the bone, take a shoulder of beef or a veal shank and cook as above( if using ashank you will beed to simmer for a longer period to break down the sinue, then remove the meat from the bone and add to the sauce, cooking the meat on the bone will give the dish a whole new flavour.

Great served with polenta or fresh pasta and lots of crusty bread, why not try blending the meatsl ike half lamb or half pork. would even be great made with baby goat cooked on the bone, and would require a little less cooking

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