Sunday, 28 April 2013

angela boggiano's rich beef ragu

More bargain cooking for you tonight, as in addition to yesterday's special offer bream I also picked up a kilo of heavily reduced stewing steak.

Now Ana is not massively enamoured with my bargain-hunting, as quite rightly she thinks we should be eating things in date rather than on the cusp of turning to mush. To be fair I think she's broadly right, but it's hard to break my mother's habit of filling up the shopping trolley with reduced stuff. However we do have a compromise that allows me to go off-message with reduced beef/pork/lamb: I can buy it IF I make a stew or casserole within a day. Long, slow cooking with plenty of other bits and bobs makes all the difference to grey meat.

As it's a bit wet and woolly today, the beef is gets a three hour simmer with a whole host of veg, herbs (and wine), care of Angela Boggiano's comforting rich beef ragu. Sorry about the wonky picture...

See, you'd never know that was horse.

Wine Time
Hopefully the meat is falling apart, with a rich, unctuous sauce full of sticky tomatoes and resinous herbs. Red is the obvious match here, so let's cut to the chase and stick with Italian - it is a ragu after all! The trick here is to note how much, and how ripe the tomatoes are, as they are the base component battling away with the wine.

Canned tomatoes tend to be fairly standard in flavour, so if you use a single tin go with a lighter-bodied red like a Sangiovese or a Montepulciano. More than one tin, or plum tomatoes or even ripe, fresh tomatoes, new wave Barbera or Nebbiolo all the way! The difference here is in the acidity of the wines, they should all be fruity, but the latter wines will have a mouthwatering snap of acidity.

rich beef ragu - Angela Boggiano, Delicious, March 2007, p51

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