Ragu is basically another name for bolognaise that is made with chunky meat instead of minced meat. Its a great dish to make loads of and chuck it in the freezer or fridge for later or to feed a whole bunch of people. This particular version is served with spaghetti that is thin strips of zucchini and broccolini. Very yummy and paleo to boot! You could even make this dish thicker and serve it with some mashed sweet potato, pureed cauliflower or for you wheat freak – with regular spaghetti *gasp*.
300-500g marbled beef (we used the hock meat)
1 medium onion
4-10 cloves garlic (don’t be shy!)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Water or paleo-approved stock
Herbs / Spices of your choice – I used bay leaves, oregano, paprika, chilli and basil.
1-2 medium zucchinis, bunch broccolini or other “long” vegetable
Firstly, peel the tomatoes. If you don’t know how to do this, its super easy. Slice an “X” into the end of your tomato (not the stem end) and drop it in a pot of boiling water. Leave for a few minutes and when the skin looks to be coming off, pull the tomato out, plunge it into a bowl of cold water and slip the skin off. If you don’t care to do this, just chop up fresh tomatoes or use tinned tomatoes with no added salt/sugar/preservatives.
Next grab your meat and slice it up in chunks. Leave the fat on there or if you like, trim the really fatty bits off to use the fat from. Slice your onion and garlic too – leave it chunky! Slice your mushrooms into quarters.
Put the fat you have removed in the pan – or use olive oil if you prefer. Fry your onion until it turns clear, add your garlic next and then the beef. Sear the beef all over until it changes colour to a nice brown.
Add in your tomato paste and about 1/2 cup water/stock and mix well. Add in your chopped tomatoes, herbs/spices and some more water along with half of the mushrooms. Make sure there is enough water to cover the meat and not burn.
Bring this delicious soupy meat mix up to the boil then turn the heat down to low. You want this to cook slowly with only the occasional bubble. Slow cooking will make the meat super tender and bring out the great flavours of the meat and other ingredients. Now leave it for about 2 hours or more. The longer the better!
When you are close to serving this dish, prepare your spaghetti. Get some zucchinis and broccolini and slice then super thin into noodle-y pieces. You could use any long vegetable like carrot, spinach stems or whatever. Once they are sliced, steam them! In the microwave/on the stove. Drain them well and place into bowls, ready to serve.
Spoon some of the yummy meat mixture over the spaghetti along with a seasoning of pepper and some parmesan cheese if you are so inclined…like I am. mmmm cheese.