Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Recipe - Ragu

We obviously like to eat out, but also equally love cooking and creating food at home. Figured might as well start sharing this part of our food life too on double cooked. As a first, I wanted to post one of my favourite recipes, a red wine ragu/bolognaise - it's time consuming, but simple and delicious.

First you'll need to get yourself the basic ingredients. For the meat, you can use whatever tickles your fancy, however I suggest using meat that lends itself well to long cooking times. My favourite meats to use are diced chuck steak (500g), lamb shanks (2) and diced free range bacon (4-6 rashers).

For the sofrito, I use diced carrots (1 big or 2 small), diced celery (1 big stalk), diced onion (1 medium), minced garlic (3 cloves), sliced shitake mushrooms (1 punnet), and sliced button mushrooms (500g). You can add bay leaves (3) and a handful or two of any fresh chopped herbs you want, I suggest thyme or oregano.

Other ingredients that you'll need to make this are; olive oil (5 tbs), butter (50g), red wine (1 bottle of shriaz or cab sav), sour cream (3 tbs), canned tomato (400g), red wine vinegar (2 tbs), salt and pepper to taste.

First, fry the meat off in olive oil. You will need to fry the meat till all the moisture has evaporated and the meat is browned, don't be overly concerned if there is meat sticking to the bottom, scrap it off and the burnt goodness will add to the flavour. Once all the water has evaporated, add the butter and fry it off for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Now add the sofrito and cook the vegies till they have softened and shrunk in size. I tend to add the button mushrooms later as my pan isn't big enough to fit all the raw vegies.

After the vegies have all softened and absorbed moisture and oils, it's time to add the red wine. It might seem like alot but it's not, so pour in the whole bottle and any additional water needed to cover the shanks. I don't like to use store bought stock as I find the flavours too strong and harsh.

Let the liquid simmer and reduce down for 1.5 hours, if you find that you are running out of liquid too quickly just add more water. After time has passed and the meat looks tender, add the canned tomatoes and cook for another half hour or till the bolognaise has reduced.

Once reduced enough, take the lamb shanks out and slice the meat. Add the sliced lamb meat and bones back into the bolognaise and continue reducing. Once most of the moisture has been reduced, remove the bones and bay leaves.

Now add the sour cream, red wine vinegar salt and pepper. Again reduce the mixture until it is a thick consistency.

Now just add it onto your favourite pasta (linguine for me!), top with parmesan and parsley and eat up! Hope you enjoy - Let me know what you think!

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