When it’s cold and gray outside, almost nothing is more comforting than a warm, hearty homemade meal. Braising is one of my favorite cooking methods, and this savory ragu is the perfect cure for the winter blues. I like to start this recipe right after breakfast, so the whole house smells incredible for hours!
- 1 ½ lb beef, chuck, boneless, silver skin removed, cut in half
- ½ yellow onion, peeled, rough cut
- 1 small carrot, peeled, butt end removed, rough cut
- 2 ribs celery, washed, rough cut
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled, butt removed, smashed then sliced
- 3 Tbsp+ extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz red wine
- 32 oz San Marzano tomato puree
- 8 oz San Marzano tomatoes, whole, peeled in juice, crushed
- 4 basil leaves, torn
- 1 lb DeCecco rigatoni pasta
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly cracked pepper to taste
- In a food processor, combine onion, carrot and celery. Process into a fine mince. Remove and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large cast iron Staub Pot until almost smoking.
- Season beef with salt and cracked pepper and sear on all sides, adjusting heat to brown evenly.
- Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
- Turn down heat and add a little more olive oil if necessary to brown the garlic. Add onion, celery and carrot mixture and sauté until soft.
- Place the beef back into the pot and add red wine, then add the tomato puree and the tomatoes in juice. Stir to distribute tomatoes evenly.
- Cover the pot and turn flame down to simmer.
- Check every 30 minutes, but this ragu will simmer long and slow for about for hours or until beef is tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni until tender, drain and place on a sheet pan to cool.
- Toss rigatoni with olive oil to keep it from sticking together, reserve until ragu is ready.
- When the beef is tender, remove it from the pot and let cool enough to pull it apart into bite-sized chunks. Turn off heat.
- Add beef back into the sauce with the torn basil and chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and cracked pepper.
- Stir rigatoni into the sauce over medium heat until hot, serve right from the Staub pot.
- Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and chili flakes.
The simple preparation and truly delicious flavor of this ragu make it a great go-to recipe for any cook. It will feed four to five people, so this dish is ideal for your next get-together or just for a cozy winter night at home.