I made a beefy ragout in advance last night knowing that I had to rush out earlier today to view an apartment.
My nephew (previously a non-beef-eater-now-a-convert) rated it a 9 while Barry gave it 9 1/2...10; 0 being inedible and 10 being PERFECT!
Here is my recipe (I eyeballed the quantity actually) :
HEARTY BEEF RAGOUT
300gms beef chuck cubes
1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)
1 tsp sugar
100gms streaky bacon
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
About 300 to 350ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
5 peeled canned pomodoro tomatoes (must be Italian origin - I like La Valle)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
3 green chillies (de-seeded and cut into broad strips)
1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper (not too much).
1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add in diced onion. Stir till fragrant but not browned. Add in streaky bacon.
2. Stir in beef cubes. Fry lightly to just seal in the juices. Drizzle in the flour to coat the beef evenly. Add in sugar. Stir.
3. Add in stock, chillies, garlic, tomato paste, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and bay leaf.
4. Allow mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, stirring constantly and breaking up the canned tomatoes at the same time.
5. Add in red wine and continue to simmer till mixture has reduced by about half, or depending on how thick you like your stew.
6. Discard bay leaf if not consuming ragout on same day.
So, I came home from work today and heated up the ragout and boiled a pot of water with some salt at the same time.
Sliced carrots, cut broccoli into florets and sliced some capsicum while (some button mushrooms would have been great but I didn't have any) while waiting for water to come to a boil.
Tossed the cut vegs into boiling water with some olive oil, carrots in first.
Removed vegs after a minute or two and let drain. Let water boil again and tossed in angel hair pasta (paperdelle would be better though but I was in a hurry - angel hair pasta cooks fast!). Removed pasta from water and let it drain.
Placed pasta onto plates. Topped with the vegs and ladled ragout over.... Dinner ready within 15 minutes!
Also good with potatoes, polenta, crusty bread or even on its own! A rich, thick brown stew with fork-tender gravy-soaked beef cubes with a very slight tang and a hint of spiciness from the near-mush green chillies. The red wine adds depth and dimension to the ragout while the Italian herbs, bay leaf and garlic provided the flavour balance.
A great comfort food. Perfect on a cold wintry night. DELICIOUS!