Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Meaty Ragu


Excuse the absence everyone, I've been in Kobe for the long weekend. Given that I didn't do any of my own cooking over the weekend, today I'm posting I a recipe I tried right at the beginning of this blog and for some reason (probably the blinding heat of summer) never posted.

This recipe was taken from Bitchin Camero, a recipe site that I absolutely adore. This dish is perfect for chilly afternoons as it needs simmering on the stove for a while, leaving a rich tomato-meat smell to hang on the air and spread warmth around your kitchen and into the other rooms. As soon as the last of summer releases its death grip from the back of the neck of this year, I will be making this again.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil
450g (1 lb) pieces of lamb (I used boneless shoulder chops)
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
190ml (3/4 cup) red wine
800g (28 oz can) whole, peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
coarse salt
1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Substitutions

I substituted beef for lamb as it is incredibly hard to find here, and even when you get it it is in very small Yakiniku sized pieces. I ended up using two steaks and and yakiniku beef pack my supermarket had on offer because that was cheapest for me, but whatever works for you. Pieces big enough to pull apart when the time comes are best.

I used two cans of whole peeled tomatoes because the large ones aren't available here.

Method

Excuse the quality of the pictures, they were taken right at the beginning of this blog.

1) Assemble ingredients, and chop onions, carrots, and garlic. You don't absolutely have to do this, but it takes time and I find it much easier to have them prepared.


2) Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium. Once it’s hot add the olive oil. Season the lamb with salt and sear it in the olive oil, allowing for about 5 minutes per side. You want a nice, brown char on the meat.


3) Remove the lamb and add the onions and carrots. Saute for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the onions just begin to get translucent.


4)Add the meat back in and cover with remaining ingredients. Mix, and once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce it to low and let simmer for about an hour.


5) After the hour (or 2 – whatever works for you) passes, remove the lamb to a plate. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart to a shred (like pulled pork). Once all of the lamb is shredded, add it back to the pot and simmer for at least another 30 minutes.


6) Ladle over pasta and sprinkle with freshly ground Parmesan (or your cheese of choice).



Again, sorry for the pic quality, but I assure you this is wonderful.

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