Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu
This can also be served as two courses – after cooking, set aside the whole pieces of beef and keep warm. Toss pasta with sauce and serve as a first course, followed by the beef, accompanied by a gremolata, as a main.
Half an hour before cooking, lightly sprinkle beef with salt.
Heat oven to 170 degrees. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy frying pan and briefly brown beef in batches, sealing each side including the edges (hold against pan with tongs) for 1 min each side. Place browned beef in one layer large casserole dish with lid.
Add remaining olive oil to pan, saute lardons for a couple of mins until fragrant. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrot and saute for around 8 mins until onion is soft. Stir in herbs and porcini and cook for 1 min. Add chianti, turn up heat and bubble vigorously for several minutes to take the edge off the alcohol. Stir in passata and 1/4 cup porcini water, season to taste, simmer for 1 min then pour into dish with beef, and add bay leaves.
Dampen a sheet of baking paper and place over dish then place lid on. Cook for 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, check seasoning. Place back in oven without lid and cook for at least another 30 mins. After 3 hours cooking, the meat will be tender enough to pull apart, but if you have the time, cooking the dish for 4-5 hours is best. If sauce gets low, top up with a little porcini water or passata. Once cooked, pull beef apart with forks and mix into sauce.
Cook pasta to packet instructions. Fold ragu through pasta, and serve with fresh chopped Italian parsley and grated parmesan.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1kg cross cut steak
100g A Lady Butcher Lardons
1 large onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, including leaves, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
Handful chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp wild oregano
20g dried porcini, soaked (retain water), finely chopped
300ml Piccini Chianti
250ml tomato passata
3 bay leaves
250-400g pappardelle to serve