This beef ragu pairs perfectly with gnocchi or pasta, over baked potatoes, wrapped in a tortilla and baked into enchiladas. Using a slow cooker is more energy efficient, and the ragu can be left to cook all day whilst you’re out at uni or work.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours
Skill level: ★ ★ ★ ☆☆
- Splash of olive oil
- 600g beef, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 100g smoked bacon, chopped
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 100ml milk
- 2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
- 200ml white wine
- 400ml beef stock
- Salt, pepper, and caster sugar to taste
Notes on ingredients:
- I’ve said beef skirt, but any cubes of beef will work – cheap stewing steak from the supermarket is perfect
- If you want to make it gluten free, use corn flour instead of plain flour
- You can get fancy by adding pancetta instead of bacon
- It’s great if you can get fresh rosemary and chop it up nice and fine, but dry from a jar won’t significantly detract and is much easier
- I don’t usually have white wine in so keep a bottle of white wine vinegar in my store cupboard and use that instead because it adds the same acidity
- I make beef stock with Knorr stock pots but you can get really fancy with this if you want
Step one: Turn the slow cooker to its lowest setting. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Combine the flour with a good pinch of salt and pepper and dust the beef with it. Over a high heat, cook the floured beef for 4-5 minutes, until it’s nicely browned.
Step two: Set aside the beef and turn the heat down to medium. Add the bacon, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and rosemary and cook until the veg has softened – around 8 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick.
Step three: Pour in the milk and continue to cook until mostly evaporated, then add the tomato puree and stir through for a couple of minutes.
Step four: Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by about half.
Step five: Add the veg mix, the beef, and the stock to the slow cooker and mix well.
Step six: Leave for around 8 hours. Before serving, taste and add salt, pepper, and caster sugar to taste – a pinch should be enough.
Feature Image Credit: Ali Rees
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