This slow-cooked ragu is a treat! Full of deep, rich flavours, it is best served with a flat pasta such as tagliatelle (above) or fettuccine.
- 6 rashers unsmoked streaky bacon, finely chopped (see Top Tip 1)
- 200g onion, finely chopped
- 200g celery, finely chopped
- 200g carrot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 300ml red wine
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (I use rapeseed)
- 500g lean beef mince (<5% fat)
- 430g crushed tomatoes
- 250g dark-gilled mushrooms, finely chopped (stalks discarded) (I used baby Portobello mushrooms)
- 400ml hot beef stock (made with 2 stock pots)
- 3 bay leaves
- Pre-heat the oven to 130C fan
- Into a lidded casserole add the bacon.
- Place the casserole over a low-medium heat, stir constantly until the bacon is cooked and fat rendered.
- Stir in the onion, celery and carrot and fry until softened, approximately 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, add plenty of ground pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Add 100 ml of the red wine, allowing it to reduce until almost dry. Repeat twice more with the remainder of the wine.
- Meanwhile place a large frying pan over a high heat.
- To the frying pan add the cooking oil and then the mince.
- Break up the mince, keep it moving and brown well. Don’t let it stew! Set aside.
- Add the mince and remaining ingredients to the casserole.
- Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours.
- Check the seasoning and remove the bay leaves.
- Serve with your favourite pasta.
- Instead of finely chopping, try blitzing the bacon into a paste. After all, it is the flavour we want from the bacon and by doing this we will ensure the flavour is more evenly distributed. Bit of a faff, but worth a try!