I was looking through my new Sur la Table catalog a couple weeks ago and stumbled upon the "Wild Boar Ragu Kit" which would set you back $80, yikes!!! This immediately made me curious about a two things...Can I make this with beef instead (yes), and can I make this dinner more amazing for less than $80 (yes)...which led me to this recipe. Then I realized that the "kit" didn't include the fresh veggies, wine, or stock you would actually need to make this amazing dish, adding another $20+ to your meal. Normally I don't squawk at the prices of good ingredients, but I was a little shocked that the kit had so little, at such a large price (and working for Williams Sonoma Inc...I'm used to expensive foods and such).
Ok, I'll get off my soap box now and talk about the important things, like this outstanding recipe! In my attempt at serching the interweb I found many recipes that peaked my interest, but ultimately ended up doing a little of this, and a little of that to create my own "Beef Ragu with Pappardelle." I must admit that it's a time consuming recipe, but if you enjoy puttering in the kitchen on a day off; this is the perfect Fall meal. I almost fainted mid-cooking because the aroma of the dish wafting throughout the house was completely intoxicating! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Beef Ragu with Pappardelle
3 Pound Beef Chuck Roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Basil Leaves
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Sprigs Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Large Carrots, peeled & diced
2 Stalks Celery, diced
1 Onion, diced
2 Shallots, diced
1 Pound Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 Tablespoon Flour
4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 16 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Bottle Cabernet Wine
1/2 Head Garlic, cloves peeled and separated
4 Cups Beef Stock
1 Pound Fresh Pappardelle, or other fresh pasta
8 Ounces Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
8 Ounces Pecorino Romano Cheese Curls
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Place a large 6-8 Quart Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and heat until it is almost smoking. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Working in 2 separate batches, add beef to the hot oil cook until browned on all sides. Remove from Dutch oven and transfer to a plate and set aside, continue with next batch, remove from pan.
Place rosemary, thyme, and parsley together and tie with kitchen string, set aside. Add carrots, celery, onion, shallots, and mushrooms to Dutch oven and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasioinally, until vegetables are softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste, and stir to combine. Add wine; stir with wooden spoon until all browned bits have been scraped from the pan. Add tomatoes, garlic, beef stock, herbs, bay leaves, and galic cloves. Return meat to the Dutch oven and bring to a simer over medium-high heat. Cover the dish and place in the oven. Cook until beef is tender, about 3 hours.
Place the Dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat and simmer until reduced by half and thickened. Using a wooden spoon press the meat against the side of the pot to break up into shredded pieces. Remove the herbs and bay leaves and turn to low.
Fill a large pot with water and cook pasta until just al-dente, add to ragu and stir with shredded romano cheese to combine. Serve in large bowls with chopped parsley and shaved romano cheese as a garnish.