Beef ragu

I’m reluctant to say how many this serves, as it completely depends how hungry everyone is, and it is quite moreish! But tonight it is feeding 2 adults and 2 children under 8 and we’ll have leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow with a salad on the side. If I was famished I could eat 3 bowls, so if you have teenage children or 4 adults I think it would do for one meal.

This is one of those chuck everything in the pot and let it do it’s thing for a few hours. It can then sit for a while until you’re ready to serve dinner when you can quickly cook the pasta and toss everything together. You could even make it a day or two in advance.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1kg beef chuck steak, patted dry with paper towel

1 brown onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 cup red wine

400ml passata (Mutti)

3 cloves garlic (whole, unpeeled)

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

Pappardelle, broccoli florets, spinach/beetroot leaves, parsley

Parmigiano reggiano, finely grated, to serve

  1. Heat a heavy casserole with a lid. Add oil, add beef, no need to chop it, mine was in 2 large pieces. Leave it to brown, don’t move it around. Turn it after a minute or 2 after it has developed some colour.
  2. Add onion and celery and then wine, allow to bubble up for 30 seconds, add passata and fill jar with water, shake and add that too. Add garlic, bay and thyme, some black pepper and a little salt.
  3. Cover and cook on the stovetop on lowest heat for 2.5 hours until falling apart when prodded with a spoon. Check a few times to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. Add a little water if needed, but not much, it’s nice when the sauce thickens. Gently shred meat in the pan.
  4. Cook pasta in boiling salted water (1-2 tsp sea salt), drain, retaining a few tablespoons pasta water. Add broccoli in last minute of cooking time.
  5. Add drained pasta to ragu with leaves and parsley, check seasoning. Serve with reggiano