11 February 2013

Casarecce Romantica - for Valentine's Day

This rich and delicious beef ragu is one of hubby's own recipes, that he had been pondering over for a few days.  During one of our board meetings when we set the menu for the week, he announced that he'd be making a "romantic beef ragu".  Well, you can't argue with that!

I have to admit, I was a teensy bit skeptical about what a "romantic beef ragu" would entail.  Was he going to be using rose petals (well, they're in Ras al hanout spice mix!), or maybe gilding it in gold or - horrors - using heart in the mix!

No.  The extra ingredient was love.

Aaaaaaah ......

Cue hubby : 
This is essentially a rich beef ragu sauce which lives or dies by the quality of the ingredients and the care of its preparation.  The better the quality of the ingredients, the more love will end up on the plate :-)

The recipe as given below will serve 3 people - you might want to reduce the quantities a little for just the two of you - or put one serving in the freezer.


Ingredients :
beef mince
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced finely
1 large stick of celery, diced finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
125ml robust red wine
500ml beef stock (made with Knorr Rich Beef Stockpot)
10 - 12 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce.

Method :

1.  On a high heat, dry fry the minced beef in a large pan until browned.  Remove the meat from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

2.  Add the finely chopped onion, carrot and celery.  Reduce the heat and saute the vegetables in the beef fat until the onions begin to soften.  Add the garlic at this stage and carry on sauteeing for a few more minutes.

3.  Once the onions are soft, turn the heat up and bring the pan to a high temperature before adding the red wine.  Cook on a high heat until the wine has reduced by at least half.

4.  Return the minced beef to the pan and cook for a few minutes to bring back up to temperature, before adding the beef stock.

5.  Add the tomatoes by squishing them into the sauce and then reduce the heat to bring the pan to a gentle simmer, adding the mushroom ketchup.

6.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to a rich coating consistency.  

7.  Season to taste before serving over Casarecce pasta.

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