Hi! How are you all? Another bank holiday weekend has passed. We were blessed with some beautiful and hot weather again (how lucky!). On Friday, it was the 75th anniversary since the Victory Day in Europe. And today is Mother’s Day in the Czech Republic and many other countries around the world.
Normally, I’d be travelling around this time of year, making the most from the bank holiday weekend – most probably I’d be visiting my parents. So for the first time, I actually saw how people here celebrate VE Day in a big style.
Many of our neighbours were throwing ‘parties’ in their front gardens and were giving away cakes, scones and sandwiches with tea. With Union Jack flags decorating their houses, they all seemed happy. It was a great opportunity for everyone to get outside and have some fun for a change (of course, while social-distancing). What a great way to celebrate the bravery of those who were fighting for our freedom all those years ago!
But today’s strong winds blew the hot air away and as it’s getting cold again, I’d like to share with you another recipe for some perfect comfort food: beef ragu!
It is something I wanted to cook ever since I watched that episode of Jamie’s Italy when he was shown how to cook it by an elderly Italian lady.
I finally decided to make it a couple of weeks ago, with my own hand-made pasta – as flour and eggs were available in shops again. These days however they still belong to the most-wanted items and so it’s totally fine if you make your sauce with some ready-made pasta!
My pappardelle turned out to be very chunky, and there definitely was some space for improvements, but because it has been a few years since the last time I made my own pasta, I think it was ok! 😀
Having been looking for ragu recipes for a while, I have found a few of them and combined the ingredients from what we had at home.
This recipe is great for a slow cooker, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Just follow the same steps and use a deep casserole dish on very low heat, as the meat needs to be cooked for several hours (remember to stir it occasionally).
Personally, I probably don’t use our slow cooker often enough. But when I do, I always appreciate how effortless cooking can be at times, without any compromise on taste!
Now, if you fancy a hearty and flavoursome dinner, this might be an inspiration for you – and I swear it’s even better when rested overnight in the fridge!
Let me know how you liked it!
What is your dream meal? Is there anything on your wish list you haven’t managed to cook yet?
Slow-cooked beef ragu
Ingredients for 6 servings
- beef brisket 1kg
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 sticks celery, chopped
- 2x400g tin peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 600ml beef stock
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- olive oil 2 tbsp
- black pepper, salt
- Cut the beef into smaller chunks, about 1 inch thick.
- Add the olive oil into a frying pan, set on high heat.
- Sear the beef in the pan until slightly brown from each side. Keep turning every minute, set aside when done.
- Using the same pan: quickly fry chopped onions and celery, add a bit more oil if needed. This gives the veggies a nice flavour.
- Place the onions and celery into a slow cooker.
- Add the beef, carrots, garlic, the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree.
- Pour over the beef stock, add bay leaves and rosemary, black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Cover with a lid and cook slowly on low heat for about 7-8hrs. Stir half-way through.
- When the meat is falling apart and the sauce has thickened, it’s ready to be served. Check the seasoning, leave to rest for a few minutes and serve with pasta.
- Optional: grate some parmesan or Grana Padano on top and enjoy!
Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 7-8 hrs || Total time: 8 hrs 15 min