Posh Ragu

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.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Pepper
  • 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

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 130C fan
  2. Into a lidded casserole add the bacon.
  3. Place the casserole over a low-medium heat, stir constantly until the bacon is cooked and fat rendered.
  4. Stir in the onion, celery and carrot and fry until softened, approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic, add plenty of ground pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add 100 ml of the red wine, allowing it to reduce until almost dry. Repeat twice more with the remainder of the wine.
  7. Meanwhile place a large frying pan over a high heat.
  8. To the frying pan add the cooking oil and then the mince.
  9. Break up the mince, keep it moving and brown well. Don’t let it stew! Set aside.
  10. Add the mince and remaining ingredients to the casserole.
  11. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  12. Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours.
  13. Check the seasoning and remove the bay leaves.
  14. Serve with your favourite pasta.

Top Tips:

  1. 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!

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