Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Cooking Shenanigans - Beef Ragù

I love cooking so much. My partner Dave does too. We have developed this recipe between the two of us, as an amalgamation of both our existing recipes, plus a lot of experimenting. Now, I'm saving you the hard work, and just giving the recipe away!

We cook this at least once a week, and it usually lasts a few days if we don't eat it a few meals in a row! It's very moreish, but also very filling, and extremely cheap! Either serve as a bolognese sauce with pasta, or put in a oven-safe dish and cover with mashed potato and parmesan cheese for an amazing Shepherd's Pie!

1kg beef shin (usually called gravy beef at the butcher's)
2 pieces of bacon, diced
2 tins whole peeled tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced or chopped finely
1 carrot, grated
2 sticks celery, grated
1 apple, grated
1.5 glasses red wine (more or less - add to taste)
splash balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
large handful fresh basil and oregano, chopped roughly.

Sweat onion and garlic in a large saucepan with olive oil until translucent. Add balsamic, brown sugar, carrot, apple and celery and mix until soft and caramelised.

Add tomatoes, herbs, wine, bacon and beef shin and enough water to cover. Put a lid on and simmer for 4 hours or so. Longer, if you like. The longer the better. The meat will fall apart and taste so tender that you will never make another bolognese with mince meat again!

Vegetarians/vegans: If you don't add the meat, this dish is still awesome. Just add a little less wine and cook for 1-2 hours instead of 4. 

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