John Torode's meat ragu
Skill level: Easy peasy
You can't go wrong with this easy, hearty ragu recipe which John Torode learned he was eight - from an Italian!
- 1kg mince
- 200ml red wine
- 60ml vegetable or olive oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Salt and pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- A good shake of dried herbs, but not a lot
- 3 x 400g cans plum tomatoes
- 20g tomato paste
Try to avoid supermarket mince as it’s frozen to mince it in huge quantities and cooks like chicken pellets - instead buy mince from a good butcher. A good ragu needs fat to keep it moist and full flavoured. Make lots and store it in the freezer for a rainy day.
- Take the meat and massage the red wine into it so that the mince absorbs it.
- Heat a big, heavy pan. Add the oil and onions and cook gently (or sweat) until translucent. Add the garlic, a good amount of ground pepper and a teaspoon of salt. Stir and stir until the garlic starts to give off a fragrant aroma.
- Add the meat and herbs and continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes, until the meat starts to get a little colour.
- Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Serve with any pasta or gnocchi.
This recipe is taken from John Torode's Beef, available from Amazon, priced £12.