Braised beef ragu with smoked bacon

The addition of smoked bacon in this ragu gives the sauce an incredible depth of flavour and a splash of milk, blends the ingredients perfectly. Long, slow cooking means the beef just falls apart in the mouth.

In the unlikely event of any leftovers, this ragu tastes even better the next day.

Tip: If you like a bit of a kick dice half a red chilli and add at step 1.

Ingredients – Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 stick of celery finely chopped

1 large carrot finely diced

500g braising steak or 600g minced Beef

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon diced

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 large glass red wine

2 bay leaves

400g tinned tomatoes

1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree

2 beef stock cubes or 1 cup of good quality beef stock

1 heaped teaspoon of dried oregano

70ml whole milk

Grated parmesan to taste.

Method

  1. Fry onion, celery, carrot and bacon in olive oil until they begin to brown
  2. Add braising steak (or mince if using) and seal
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute moving the mixture in the pan all the time
  4. Add red wine, turn heat up and reduce (takes approx 5 minutes)
  5. Mix in tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, crumbled stock cubes, bay leaf and oregano
  6. Cook on a low heat for 1 ½ hours adding small amounts of water if the ragu becomes too thick
  7. Stir in the milk and cook for a further ½ hour or until the beef falls apart easily
  8. Season to taste
  9. Serve with spaghetti and parmesan.

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