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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

"Exploring the Heartiness of Earthy Beef Ragu: A Warm and Comforting Italian Classic"

Beef Ragu is a hearty Italian sauce that's perfect for serving with pasta, polenta, or risotto. Here's a basic recipe for a savory Beef Ragu, along with some helpful tips and tricks to enhance the flavor and texture of your dish.


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  • Dish name: Classic Beef Ragu

  • Cuisine: Italian

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 2 to 2.5 hours

  • Yield: 6 servings


Ingredients:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast or stew meat, cut into chunks

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, finely diced

  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

  • 2 cups beef stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


Instructions:


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  2. Brown the beef chunks on all sides in batches. Do not crowd the pan. Set browned beef aside.

  3. In the same pot, add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  5. Pour in red wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

  6. Return the beef to the pot and add crushed tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaves, and thyme.

  7. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover with a lid slightly ajar and cook for about 2 hours or until the beef is very tender.

  8. Remove the bay leaves. Shred the beef chunks into bite-sized pieces using two forks.

  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  10. Serve over your favorite pasta, sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with parsley.


Tips and Tricks:


  • Proper Browning: Make sure to brown the beef well at the start. This step provides a deep flavor foundation for the sauce.

  • Low and Slow: Simmer your ragu on the lowest possible heat. The longer it cooks, the more flavors develop and meld together.

  • Wine Choice: Use a wine that's good enough to drink. It will enhance the depth and richness of the ragu.

  • Rich and Thick: For a thicker sauce, simmer with the lid off for the last 30 minutes to allow excess liquid to evaporate.

  • Tomato Quality: Use the best quality canned tomatoes you can find; San Marzano tomatoes are particularly good for ragu.

  • Breaking Down Meat: As the ragu nears the end of cooking, check if the meat is fork-tender and shred it to the desired consistency.

  • Sauce Consistency: If your sauce is too runny, you can mix in a small amount of tomato paste to thicken it up.

  • Fresh Herbs: Add fresh herbs like basil or additional thyme just before serving to brighten up the flavors.


Beef Ragu

This Beef Ragu recipe is a warm and comforting dish that's perfect for a lovely family dinner. Bon appétit!

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