A slow braised meat ragu makes a succulent sauce for pasta….
2.5 lb (1.2 kg) stew beef (beef chuck, bourguignon or paleron)
salt and pepper
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of finely diced carrots (about 2 large)
1/2 cup finely diced celery (2 stalks)
1 800g/ 24 oz can chopped Italian tomatoes
1 cup/250 ml red wine
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) beef stock (made with 1 Knorr pot or 1 beef bouillon cube if you don’t have stock)
3 Tablespoons tomato paste (concentrate)
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 lb/450g Pappardelle or other pasta of your choice
freshly grated parmesan cheese
handful of chopped parsley
If your beef has not come already cut up, cut it in to large squares, about 2 inch cubes.
Season the beef generously with salt and pepper.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a stock pot over medium high heat. Add the beef and sear well on all sides. You want them nicely browned and caramelised. This will probably take 4-5 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pot if necessary. Lower the heat to medium low and add the onion. Sauté until just beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic, carrots and celery and sauté, stirring often for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add the canned tomatoes, red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a simmer.
Add the beef back to the pot and return the sauce to a simmer.
Lower the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the beef to slowly, slowly braise for 2 hours.
When the beef is fork tender remove it from the pot. Using a fork shred the beef and add it back to the pot.
Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. You want the pasta slightly undercooked. Drain.
Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce and toss well with the sauce while still on low heat. The pasta will cook slightly more in the sauce while releasing its starch into the sauce and thus thickening it.
Turn the pasta out on to a large platter or bowl and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese.