Wednesday, April 06, 2011

martha stewart's beef ragu with pasta recipe

Beef Ragù with Pasta (Recipe by Martha Stewart)

Once in a while, if I happen to find time, I like to experiment recipes from my cookbooks collection. This month (and last month) happens to be a month of "Pasta". For some good reason, I crave for pasta and I have tried many recipes from my favourite cookbooks ; "The Silver Spoon - Pasta", "The River Cafe - Classic Italian" and "Martha Stewart's" (She is actually not that much of my favourite but I guess I am brain-washed by watching her TV programs 4 days in every week for over a year now).

Anyway, last week, one of my very best mates came for dinner. I was in mood of cooking. So, I cooked her a 3-course-dinner. She was all happy and satisfied with my cooking skill. I opened a few decent bottles of "Merlot" for her and the evening was absolutely divine. Our main course was "Beef Ragù with Penne" (Bangkok was very cold last week. Its 18-19 degrees Celsius. Therefore, I think it was very appropriate to cook a winter dish.) The dish was very hearty and delicious. I personally think that it would be even better if I served it with "Chianti" but unfortunately, I didn't have any "Chianti" on hand that night.

This original recipe is picked from Martha's website as, to me, it feels very home-cooked, very easy, & very simple (It matches my cooking concept perfectly.). Find below a recipe of Martha's which is modified a little by me.

Beef Rump (Beef pieces for Stew - about 3 pounds)
Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
3 medium Onions, halved, then cut crosswise into slices
4 cloves of Garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 pound of Cremini Mushroom, sliced (If you can't find Cremini, Champignon  Mushroom will do - I think they are almost the same type of mushroom.)
3 tablespoons of fresh Oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 can (28 ounces) Italian Tomatoes with juices, whole peeled 
2 cups of dry Red Wine
1/2 teaspoon of Red Pepper flakes
1 pound of Penne or other Tubular pasta

For Garnish
Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese, shaved
Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped 


Season the beef pieces with sea salt and black pepper. 

Set a large cast-iron-casserole (mine is a lovely blue colour from Le Creuset.) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and then brown the beef pieces on all sides. When the beef is done, remove from the casserole and keep one side.

In the same casserole, add sliced onion, stir till cooked through. Add garlic, mushroom, oregano and salt, stir for a few minutes. Add red wine and red pepper flakes. Return the beef pieces into the casserole and add tomato mixture. Braise till the beef is fork-tender, about 4 hours.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add plenty of salt. Add pasta, cook till al dente. Drain and return to the pot. 

Toss pasta with the sauce, transfer to serving plates. Top with pieces of beef, garnish with shaved Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese. Sprinkle with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or fresh oregano.

Serve : 4-6

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