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Beef Ragu August 17, 2014

Filed under: Favourites,Italian,Meat,Pasta,Soups and Stews — delishuss @ 7:41 am
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I’ve been on a mini-holiday, just at home but it’s been a nice relaxing couple of days. I have been going a bit mad with the slow cooker. I made this Ragu and also pulled pork: I’m really enjoying using the slow cooker at the moment. I’ve had the best results with fattier cuts of meat. I’ve tried a curry recipe with lean lamb steaks and it shriveled up to nothing. I didn’t have a recipe for this one, I just winged it. I have another recipe on the blog for ragu, I reckon this is the better of the two.

6 serves


1.2 kilos stewing beef, chopped into chunks

1 onion, chopped

2 medium size carrots, roughly diced

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 oxo cubes

250 ml beef stock

250 ml red wine

Boquet garni

1 tin chopped tomatoes

4 slices of parma ham, chopped

1 sachet of tomato paste (25g or so)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper to season



1. Heat a large frying pan and heat 2 tablespoon of the oil. Saute the onions and the carrots. Remove from the frying pan.


2. Heat the remainder of the oil and add half of the beef. Brown and remove from the pan and repeat with the remainder of the beef. While the 2 batches is browning, add the garlic and pancetta and fry off for about 3 minutes. Add the meat and the veg to the slow cooker.


3. Add the wine and the stock to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the tomato paste. Simmer for 5 mins and add the sauce to the slow cooker.


4. Sprinkle the two oxo cubes over the meat. Unwrap the bouquet garni. Remove some of the stalks of thyme and rosemary and take off their leaves and sprinkle over the meat. Tie the bouquet garni back up and add it to the slow cooker.


5. Pour over the tin of tomatoes and stir through. Season with salt and pepper.

6. I cooked it in the slow cooker for about 6 hours on high. You could do it on low for 8 hours if you have the time.  Once it has finished cooking. Remove the bouquet garni and any large leaves of rosemary or thyme stalks.



7. Serve with rigatoni pasta or any pasta of your choice. I threw the pasta into the ragu before serving to soak up some of the juices.


Note: Half way through the cooking, you can place a piece of kitchen paper on top of the liquid and soak up some of the fat on top. Some chefs recommend using slices of bread.


Ragu alla Bolognese May 18, 2011

Filed under: Meat,Pasta — delishuss @ 9:05 pm
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Hi there, I have to confess sometimes I resort to a jar of sauce for a Bolognese. Really there’s no excuse, as sauces are so easy to make. Here’s an authentic Italian recipe for you, from ‘Mama’s Italian Cookbook’. Very tasty, yum. Hope you enjoy it.

The recipe serves 4


25g dried ceps

125 ml lukewarm water

1 tsp butter

50g pancetta, diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 small carrots, finely diced

2 celery sticks, finely diced

300g beef mince

1 pinch sugar

Freshly grated nutmeg

1 tbsp tomato puree

125ml red wine

250g passata

1 oxo cube (not in the original recipe)

Salt and pepper


1. Soak the ceps in the water for 20 minutes.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the pancetta and fry.

3. Add the onion and garlic and fry until the onion is translucent. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add the beef and fry, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar, oxo cube and some nutmeg.

5. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for a minute or two then add the wine.

6. Mix in the passata. Thinly slice the ceps and add them to the sauce.

7. Pour the soaking water through a fines sieve into the suace. Thicken the sauce by cooking it over a low heat for 1 hour.