As the second great blizzard/ice storm/metrologic disaster continues, and I watch ice build on powerlines, tree branches, roadways, and steps, I find myself saying, “Nope, Nope, and uh, NOPE! NOT going out.”
Given the need to feed in a body, heart, and soul-warming fashion, I examine the freezer, pantry, and cupboard for inspiration. Finally, I find a decent-sized chuck roast, some canned tomatoes of the spicy variety, the makings of a soffrito, and some very hearty noodles.
Given the enforced house restriction, perhaps an excellent slow cook to stave off the boredom and tension of waiting for the power to go out.
Perhaps a slow-cooked beef ragu served over thick and hearty noodles. I’ll revive an old Bad Wolf Kitchen favorite and right-size for a much smaller audience.
In Italian cuisine, ragù (Italian: [raˈɡu]) is a meat-based sauce that is commonly served with pasta. An Italian gastronomic society, Accademia Italiana della Cucina, documented several ragù recipes. The recipes’ common characteristics are the presence of meat and the fact that all are sauces for pasta. The most typical is ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese sauce).
In southern Italian regions, ragù is often prepared from substantial quantities of large, whole cuts of beef and pork, and sometimes regional sausages, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes. After a long braise (or simmer), the meats are removed and may be served as a separate course without pasta.
Bad Wolf Ragu
- 1 lb Beef Chuck Roast cut into large equal chunks
- 1/2 tbsp Salt Kosher
- 1 tsp Black Pepper Coarse ground
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Garlic
- 1/2 ea Yellow Onion Medium, peeled, diced
- 1 ea Carrot Medium, peeled, diced
- 1 rib celery Medium, washed, disced
- 1 can Tomatoes and Chilies 10 oz can
- 1 cup Beef Stock
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/2 Cup red wine Merlot or full bodied
- 1/2 tsp Dried thyme
- 2 ea Bay leaves
- Dry the beef and season on all sides with salt and peepr
- In a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil
- Whence the oil shimmers, add beef and heavily sear until quite brown
- Move the beef to a holding plate; drop the heat to medium-low
- Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, onions thence saute until the onions are soft and translucent 3-5 minutes
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, ~ 2 minutes
- Add the carrots and celery, saute slowly until the veggies soften, ~ 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and return the beef to the pot along with any juices.
- Bring to a simmer thence reduce heat to low for a very low simmer
- Cover and slow cook until beef is tender and can be shredded (~2 hours)
- Remove the beef to a plate and shred, and return to the pot.
- Simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces, ~ 30 minutes
- Taste, season, and balance flavor. If too acidic add 1/2 tsp sugar.
- Serve over noodles, I use thick hearty noodles, (Pappardelle), to stand up to the bold flavor and sturdy texture of the sauce
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