Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Meat Ragu

Ragu recipe cooking
Ragu and ziti pasta cooking
on stove-top.
I've been on an Italian kick lately.  Last weekend we made Bolognese. The week before we visited an Italian restaurant.  And before that, we visited ANOTHER Italian restaurant. Needless to say, my wife wasn't surprised when I decided to try making a new meat sauce.

The below meat ragu recipe is based on the recipe in the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. When I was learning to cook, a friend recommended it.  And it is now the most used, destroyed and beloved cookbook in our kitchen.

This is an awesome cookbook is made by the same people who made the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, mentioned above:

This meat ragu came out very hearty with a strong beef flavor. In some ways, it almost tastes like my favorite beef stew.  However, the Pecorino Romano cheese and the Ziti noodles all but made me forget the resemblance. If I were to modify this recipe, I'd try to give it a more Italian flavor by adding oregano, a couple cloves of garlic and more tomatoes.

Click Read More for the ingredients and directions.

1.5 lbs. beef short ribs
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 cup dry red wine (I doubled the original recipe's recommendation)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
grated / shredded Pecorino Romano
1 lb. Ziti pasta

1) Season ribs with salt and pepper and brown in large pan for 10 minutes.
2) Remove ribs, pour out most of the fat, and then add the onion.
3) Soften the onion for about 5 minutes
4) Add the wine to deglaze the pan, about 2 minutes
5) Place ribs back into pan, along with any accumulated juices
6) Pour in tomatoes, stir, cover and slowly simmer for at least 2 hours (I recommend almost 3 hours to get the meat very tender). Occasionally turn the meat and stir.
7) Remove meat from sauce, remove bones, and shred with a fork.  Place shredded beef back into uncovered sauce and reduce for about 10 minutes.
8) Stir in Ziti, fill some bowls and serve with Pecorino Romano and a hearty red wine. I suggest a Cabernet.

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