I was really inspired by some gorgeous pasta recipes in the Guardian a few weeks back (see them here). I gave the beef sauce recipe a go but with a few variations. I used beef mince instead of beef shin, added some mushrooms, and stuck with the more traditional penne instead of pasta sheets.
The result? Delicious. With requests of a repeat. Soon. :-)
So if you have time on your hands this weekend, why not put it to good use? This recipe will take about 2.5-3 hours from start to finish, but is completely worth it!
This recipe is very easy but it does take time as it is necessary to give the sauce a couple of hours to simmer. So this is probably one best left for the weekend :-) But, it is worth it! The beef stock and wine add a great richness and depth to this dish
250g beef mince
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
Half of 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped thyme
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml red wine
350ml beef stock
1 200ml tin chopped tomatoes
250g mushrooms, sliced
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Heat some oil in a large pot over a low heat. Put the onion, carrot, and celery in a pot with the bay leaves and thyme, cover and sweat for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Remove the mixture from the pot, set aside, and remove the bay leaves. Turn up the heat and add the beef mince. Cook until the mince has turned a pale brown colour. But don't overcook, remove once the mince has changed colour.
Set the mince aside as well and add the wine to the pot. Cook on a high heat until the wine reduces by about two-thirds. Then return the beef and vegetables to the pot along with the stock and tomatoes. Now also add the mushrooms and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a low simmer and partially cover. Allow the ragu to simmer for two hours, stiring occasionally and remove the lid completely after the first hour. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
Serve with pasta of your choice, such as penne or tagliatelle, and bread.