I love this beef ragu, so easy to make, great for a week end treat when you have a little more time to prepare. The word ragù comes from the French word "ragoutier," that means "awake your appetite". Originally from Italy but there are some sources that state it was a french chef in Bologna. It originated as a simply meat sauce made from broth (and not so many tomatoes) that was served as accompaniment to pasta dishes.

For any Italians out there please forgive me this recipe has a few more spices added, no wine, and more tomatoes than the authentic Italian version. I love this rich and hearty stew that melts in your mouth. This is simple to cook what's known as "slow food" as it take a few hours to cook, but it is worth the wait. Worth making the day before and enjoy the next day. I would suggest serving this with steamed vegetables, rice, pasta, salad and or fresh bread. For any gluten free people serve on a fresh bed of spinach and this will taste just as good.

Ingredients

  • 800g diced stewing beef (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 small stick of chopped celery
  • 2-3 chopped carrots
  • beef stock cube crushed
  • 3 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 x 400g chopped tinned tomatoes (I used basil & oregano 390g pkt x 2)
  • 3 tablespoons passata (or swap out for 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste)
  • 250-500ml additional water

Method

  1. Preheat a large pot, then add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Cook the diced beef until brown, then remove and place in a bowl.
  3. Drain off any excess liquid and clean out the pot.
  4. Add a little extra oil, fry the onions until soft for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the crushed garlic and cook for an extra few minutes.
  6. Add the diced carrots and celery and cook until slightly soft. (if you forget this step fry them in a separate pan then add later).
  7. Add the crushed stock cube and spices and mix through.
  8. Now add the beef back and all the liquids, tomatoes, passata or paste and the water and stir.
  9. Simmer with the lid off for an 2-3 hours. Check every so often and add more water if needed. Alternatively you could place in the oven on 160˚C and cook for 2-3 hours.
  10. I suggest serving this with steamed vegetables, rice, pasta, salad and or fresh bread. For any gluten free people serve on a fresh bed of spinach and this will taste just as good.