Slow Cooked Ox Cheef Ragu With Papparadelle
This recipe is a perfect weekend treat. The beef slow cooks all day, to leave you with melt in the mouth meat in a silky sauce that is just perfect with pasta and a good bottle of red wine. The recipe works well with beef shin or braising steak, but ox cheek is my personal favourite as it has a lovely gelatinous quality that gives the sauce some serious body.
You can do this in a slow cooker, on a low flame over the hob, or in an oven proof casserole dish – it is flexible for the cooking vessel you have at home.
The only torture is waiting for it to be ready - the smells as it cooks are seriously hunger-inducing!
- 6 portions
- Prep time: 30 Minutes|Cook time: 4 Hours|Total time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
- Preheat the oven to 140C/275F
- Season the beef chunks all over with salt and pepper and fry in a little neutral oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan on a moderate heat. You really want to brown the beef all over here, so you will likely need to do this in batches, each with a touch more oil, to ensure even browning. This browning step is called the Maillard reaction – and is very important in developing strong flavours and should not be rushed.
- Once each batch of beef is browned, add it to a large oven proof casserole dish to await the rest of its cooking partners.
- Add the onion to the same frying pan and fry off for a minute of two, scraping up all the bits of beef and soaking up any leftover oil and juices. Next, add a large pinch of salt, the carrots and the celery, and cook for around 5 minutes until softened. Finally add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Add the tomato purée and cook off for a couple more minutes. Add the wine and bring up to the boil, let it bubble away for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add the veg mix to the casserole dish to join the beef. Add the tomatoes, the herbs, the Worcestershire Sauce and the beef stock and give it all a good stir.
- Place the casserole dish in the oven and wait for around 3 hours. At this point, inspect the meat chunks. If they are soft and starting to fall apart we are almost ready, if they still resist then add the dish back to the oven for a little longer
- Once the meat is tender, take off the lid and add the dish back into the oven for 30 more minutes, to allow the sauce to thicken up.
- Once cooked, stir roughly to break up the meat a little. This can be eaten straight away or be cooled and stored until ready to eat later. I like this made a bit in advance, as I find the flavours develop more over time, but it is up to you if you can resist!
- Serve with thickly cut pasta and lots of parmesan.