Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beef in Ragu Sauce

I think there isn't anyone who has not heard of Bolognaise Sauce, which essentially is Ragu, a tomato based sauce of Bologna, Italy. This dish is pretty similar to that but a whole log roll or cube of beef is braised in ragu. Please don't use bottled ragu as the sauce can be cooked up pretty fast. It is similar to making the tomato coullis. The result is a really appetizing dish with tender meat and sweet-sourish taste that comes from the tomatos and red wine. Excellent way of making cheaper cuts of meat really tasty.

It can be used as a main course served with a carb (I did polenta) and salad, or a first course starter on spaghetti or pastas.

Serve 6-8 as Main
1 no of beef log roll about 1 to 1.2kg, such as rump or chuck tender
olive oil

Marinade for beef:

1 teasp of salt
some black pepper
1.5 teasp of cayenne pepper or paprika
1/2 teasp oregano

1) Make deep incisions all over beef with a sharp knife. Marinade for 1-2 hours.

2) In a flat pan, heat up olive oil to hot but not smoking, sear all sides of beef to brown.

3 tbsp of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, diced finely
1 no of big onion, diced finely
2 no of med carrots, cubed
1 no of big red capsicum, cubed
1 no of big tomatos, diced
1 no of celery stalk, cubed (optional)
150 ml of red wine
350 ml of beef stock (1 heaped tbsp of beef sauce powder + 350 ml of water)
400gm of whole peel tomatos with juice, mashed with the back of spoon
2 sprigs of basils, leave torn
1/4 teasp of dried oregano
some parsley (fresh or dried)

3) In a deep pot, heat up oil and saute garlic and onions till soft and brown. Add capsicum, tomatos and carrots and continue saute-ing till fragrant. Transfer meat to pot. Deglaze pan for searing with red wine and pour all juices into pot.

4) Stir in beef stock and mashed whole peel tomatos. Bring the pot to boil. Add fresh basil and dried oregano. Cover and simmer till beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hour or more. Seasoned with salt and pepper and some sugar to taste. Sprinkle with some parsley. Optional: Stir in 50 ml of cream for extra richness.

5) Remove meat from pot and allow to rest for 10 min before carving. Line them on a plate and drizzle some vegetable and ragu sauce over them. Serve with salad or serve on pastas or spaghetti.

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