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Ragu

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Ingredients

(serves 8)

Beef chuck or any braising beef                                1.2KG

Olive oil                         3tbsp

Garlic                         3 cloves

Onion                                     1

Carrots                                  2

Celery                                   2

Crushed canned tomatoes                                          800g

Tomato paste                3tbsp

Beef bouillion cubes           2

Red wine                     250ml

Water                            375ml

Dried thyme                    2tsp

Bay leaves                            3

Method

 

1. Set up the Aquaforno with the pizza stone in the top section.

2. Light the Aquaforno with some lump wood charcoal and a log in the base section and heat to 220c.

3. Place a heavy based casserole dish on the stone and allow it to heat up.

4. Pat the beef dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a high heat in the dish. Add beef and sear each piece aggressively on all sides until very browned (3 – 5 minutes in total), then remove and place on a plate.

6. Let the fire drop to let the pan reach a medium temperature and add the remaining 2 tbsps of olive oil.

7. Add garlic, diced onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.

8. Add rest of ingredients and return the beef to the pot and the sauteed vegetables. Raise the temperature of the Aquaforno by adding a small piece of wood and let the Ragu simmer very gently.

9. Remove beef then coarsely shred with 2 forks. Return the shredded beef to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes until sauce is reduced and thickened – beef will become slightly more softened during this step.

10. Test and adjust the seasoning to your taste with salt and pepper. You can also add 1/2 tsp sugar if sauce is a bit sour for your taste. Place the lid on and set aside until ready to serve, if you can leave it for a few hours and it will be even better or even leave it till the next day! Shave some slices of Parmesan on to the Ragu before serving.

11. Serve with  freshly cooked spaghetti or any pasta of your choice. Or try it with a delicious fluffy baked potato cooked on the pizza stone while the Ragu is cooking.

Aquaforno II

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