Braised Beef Ragu
I’m still on my run of savory. And why shouldn’t I be? The reality is, yes, in between sweets, I actually eat food. But it’s not often I do meat for my savory, but today – we are going savory with some Braised Beef Ragu.
Sure it’s heavy and totally not summer-like, but then again I’m not a locavore either. Nope. Shame on me for bucking that trend and jumping out of season, but this appetite of mine is built to please without delay.
And here’s the great thing about this dish—almost a one pot meal and it’s super easy—quarter the meat, braise it, saute your seasonings, then into the oven it goes. See what I mean about easy?
As a side note, this is a Donna Hay recipe that I adapted. I didn’t make many changes other than adding in the thyme, and the anchovy paste. And in my humble opinion, the anchovy paste makes the sauce. It’s a small amount – 1 tablespoon, but it’s also pretty concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Of course you can skip it, but I think it adds just the right depth to this dish. As an added plus, this is one of those dishes that gets better the next day—so yay to leftovers!
Braised Beef Ragu
Yield: Serves 6
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay
- 2lbs chuck roast, quartered
- plain all-purpose flour, for dusting
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, thickly sliced
- 6 springs fresh thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 4 tablespoon sugar
- 1 lb tube pasta
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ½ cup basil leaves
- finely grated parmesan, to serve
Preparation: Heat oven to 350ºF.
- Dust the chuck roast in flour, shaking to remove any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottom saucepan over high heat. Cook the beef on each side until brown, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add the remaining oil, onion, thyme and garlic and cook for 6–8 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to high. Add the wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2–3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock, water, tomatoes, tomato paste and anchovy paste, sugar and stir to combine.
- Return the beef to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven and roast for 2 hours. Remove the lid and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat. Return meat to the sauce and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente, about for 10–12 minutes. Drain, return to the pan with the beef sauce, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Top with basil and sprinkle with parmesan to serve. Serves 4–6.
- The original recipe does not use anchovy paste, but I thought the sauce needed a something a bit more, and the anchovy paste did it. The paste is pretty concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Of course you can skip it, but I think it makes the sauce.