Braised Beef Ragu with Gemelli
- 4 lbs chuck roast, quartered
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups red wine (I use Chianti)
- 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes (San Marzano is best!)
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh sage
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lbs Gemelli pasta, cooked according to instructions
- Chopped parsley to serve
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to serve
Adapted from oliviascuisine.com
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Season the beef with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil on a large oven-proof Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil is sizzling hot, brown the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes, working in batches if necessary.
Remove the beef from the pot and reserve.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the same pot and sauté until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and the celery and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour and the tomato paste, stir and cook for a minute to get rid of the raw flour taste. Then add the balsamic vinegar and cook, scrapping the bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until almost all gone, about 5 minutes.
Add the red wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare bouquet garni by tying all the fresh herbs together with a kitchen string.
When the wine has reduced, add back the browned beef and the bouquet garni. Add the crushed tomatoes and the beef stock. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium high heat. Then, cover the dutch oven and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the beef is very tender.
If the sauce is too liquidy at the end of the 3 hour cooking period, remove the beef and bring the liquid to the stovetop, over medium heat, to simmer until thickened to your likings.
Discard the bouquet garni.
Shred the meat into smaller pieces and return to the pot with the sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
Cook the pasta, according to package instructions, until al dente.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water. Spoon a little of the tomato sauce over the pasta and toss, adding pasta water if necessary.
Serve the pasta with the ragu (and some more sauce). Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.