Beef Ragu


A few weeks I posted my recipe for Pumpkin & Mushroom Lasagne but had absolutely no intention of writing up this original beef version – after all it’s just a run of the mill beef ragu, right?  I made up a batch specifically to freeze – 3 meals for 2 to pull out if the freezer as needed at the end of a hard day’s slog when we needed a robust meal but just didn’t have the brain space to conjure up anything inspiring in the kitchen.  Lasagne fits this bill really well,  freezes nicely and in this case I froze raw in order to bake from frozen.  How easy would that be?  Anyway, I cracked open the first of the batch this week and it was, well, amazing.  Probably the best beef lasagne I’ve ever had and that’s all down to the ragu so felt compelled to write this down for posterity – I can guarantee I’ll be cooking this again!

This recipe is for the beef ragu, which is a great sauce to serve simply with fresh pasta and a little side salad.  To make up a beef lasagne you’ll need to knock up a bechamel sauce as well as some sheet lasagne

Makes 3 * 2 person generous portions

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 rashers smoked Back Bacon, finely diced
  • 1kg Minced Beef
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3 Onions, finely diced
  • 4 Carrots, finely diced
  • 4 stickCelery, finely diced
  • 6-8 Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tins Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Peppers, diced
  • Dried Oregano & Thyme
  • 2 Beef Stock Pots
  • Rind of a piece of Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • lots of Black Pepper
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Sweat the bacon off in the oil until just turning golden brown then add the mince
  • Stir continuously until the beef has browned off
  • Stir in the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and dried herbs and sweat for about 5 minutes until softened
  • Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes and bring to the boil
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the peppers, stock and parmesan rind.  Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes
  • Season with the Worcester sauce, tomato puree, black pepper and salt/sugar to taste
  • If using for lasagne, use the ragu now.  The sauce will bake into the pasta in the oven
  • Otherwise, for use as a bolognese-type sauce continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced down
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