After a few nights away visiting my dad up north in "God's Country", I came home to a beautiful dinner created by Murray, my lovely husband. There's nothing nicer than arriving home on a cold night after a few days away, and a delayed flight, to something like that.
After sharing the photo of his creation, I had a few requests for his ragu recipe.
It really was THAT delicious.
Getting the recipe for this has been an amusing journey! Murray, being a man of mystery, just chucked a few things together and used the slow cooker. He thought nothing of it and always under estimates how well he cooks.
I have finally gotten enough out of him to share a recipe with you all. It's one all loving partners should make their other halves once in a while!
Below is a rendition of what I will forever call Murray's Mysterious Beef Ragu.
BEEF RAGU with PAPPARDELLE
Serves 6~ with enough for leftovers to make 4 large pies. If you don't need pies, you could increase the pappardelle quantity and stretch this dish to 8-10 serves.
1-1.2kg of some sort of cheap beef (maybe chuck steak... He can't remember)
Olive oil (a drizzle)
Garlic crushed or finely chopped (go with 2-3 cloves)
Diced onion, carrots and celery ( I assume this means: 1 onion, 2 carrots and 3-4 sticks of celery!)
Beef stock (upon investigation it was actually the stock pot things. He has since revealed it was TWO stock pot tubs with a litre of water)
Tomato paste (who knows how much! I'd suggest a giant dollop or two)
1 can crushed tomatoes (the giant one - 800g)
Pappardelle - enough for 6 serves
Salt and pepper to taste
Start this recipe a day ahead. Murray recommends the night before once you get home.
You'll need a slow cooker for this recipe, but can adapt it as necessary to a casserole dish.
1. Using a pan, brown the meat and set aside.
2. Heat the same fry pan over a medium high heat. When hot add olive oil. When the oil is heated add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring for a a few minutes until the onions are softened.
3. Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes and stir to combine over the heat. Remove the pan from heat and pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Add the browned beef, stock pots and water and stir together.
4. Place the slow cooker insert (with the ragu mix) inside the slow cooker shell, if you haven't already. Cover it and cook on low for 6-8hrs.
Murray's insider tip: Set your alarm and stir every 1.5hrs to avoid sticking or burning at the bottom. This may interrupt a very important Masterchef episode or napping time, but is well worth it.
5. After the 6-8hrs turn off the slow cooker. Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
6. The next day, remove the ragu from the fridge and skim any excess solidified fat from the top of the mixture. Remove the meat from the ragu, shred and set aside.
7. Pour the remaining liquid into a pan and cook on the stove over a medium high heat to reduce the liquid by 1/3-1/2. This takes approximately 20-30mins.
8. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to the boil.
9. While waiting for the water to boil, add the shredded beef back into the reduced ragu liquid and stir together. Heat through and keep on a low heat until the pappardelle is ready. Season if required.
10. When the water is boiling add the pappardelle and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the large pot. Add 2/3 of the ragu (if making pies, or ALL of it if not) and toss to combine.
Serve with shaved parmesan and a glass of red wine.
NOTE If you are making pies from the excess ragu, put the ragu in a dish and refrigerate. You will need cold ragu to make the pies!
A delicious light red wine without a doubt. We went with a Pinot Noir that we picked up from the Wine Society and it was perfect. A Chianti, Grenache or Sangiovese would be great with this ragu pasta meal too.
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