Saturday, August 7, 2010

pasta with braised beef and tomato ragu

A truly hearty Italian meal which will warm and fill anyone on these cold nights. This recipe is also well suited to lamb, especially lamb shanks.

what you need
1kg stewing beef on the bone (such as shoulder or veal shank)
100ml olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 bay leaves
400ml red wine
4 tablespoons tomato puree
4 x 400g cans chopped Roma tomatoes
600g rustic style pasta just as trofie
6-8 basil leaves, torn, to serve

what to do
Preheat oven to 180°C. Season meat with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Heat a dash of olive oil in a heatproof casserole over a medium-high heat, brown meat all over, then remove and set aside.
Add remaining oil to casserole, reduce heat to medium, and fry onion, celery and garlic until softened. Add bay leaves, pour in wine and bring to the boil, then stir in tomato puree, canned tomatoes, 300ml water and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Place meat back in casserole and bring to a simmer, then cover casserole, transfer to the oven and cook for at least 3 hours, or until meat is tender and falling from the bone and sauce is a glossy, deep burgundy colour; if sauce starts to thicken too much, add a little extra water.
Allow to cool a little, then pull meat from the bone, discarding bone. Refrigerate meat in the sauce, then scoop off and discard surface fat, and divide ragù into two batches; reserve one batch for another mealtime

Cook pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente and reheat remaining batch of ragù. Toss drained pasta in the ragù, scatter with basil leaves, and serve immediately.

You could also serve this ragu with polenta or creamy mash potatoes.


  1. My husband will love this dish Joe. It sounds very hearty for when our cold weather rolls around. Currently, we are experiencing record breaking heat.

  2. Lovely, warm and hearty Joe, Just what we need for this cold weather..