I’ve been craving a good ragu for some time and when I saw those beautiful meaty beef spare ribs at the local butcher’s I knew it was time to get cooking. “Pulled” spare rib beef ragu might seem like a mouthful of a title, but what a glorious mouthful it is… Succulent, flavourful and so delicious.
In order to make “pulled” beef (or pork), the meat is cooked over an extended period of time at low temperature to make it meltingly soft and irresistibly moist. It’s a perfect winter comfort food. As the wonderful aromas of slow-roasted meat permeate the house, they fill it with magical, cosy warmth. The dish is hearty, but not heavy – doesn’t leave the belly feeling stuffed.
I was a little stuck on what pasta to serve with this, and I nearly settled for the dried ribbed fettucine, when I came across this fresh Pastabilities parsley and shallot fettucine at my local Coles (Broadway).
Because it’s fresh, it cooks in less than 2 minutes, not that it compensates for the time the beef had to cook for, but it makes the perfect flavour and texture choice for the ragu. And it’s completely preservative and additive free, I made sure I checked before it ended up in my trolley. There’s no need to make pasta from scratch when you can get great produce like this. Love it!
Make sure you serve the dish in large bowls, it deserves a little grandeur.
Oh, one more thing… Nominations are now open for Saveur’s 2011 Best Food Blog Awards. If you like my blog, or certain recipes you can vote for me in the following categories: Best Cooking Blog, Best Original Savory Recipe, Best Original Baking and Desserts Recipe or Best Food Photo.
While I’m not hoping to win, or maybe secretly I am, it would be fun to get a few votes! Thank you very much in advance!
“Pulled” spare rib beef ragu, parsley pasta
As this dish takes a few hours to cook, it is best preared on a rainy weekend. If you don’t like mushrooms, you could use fresh or frozen peas instead.
- 400g beef spare ribs, larger fat trimmed
- 4 cups salt reduced vegetable stock
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup water
- 2 celery stalks, cut in quarters
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- salt and pepper
- butter for browning
- 1½ cups pasta sauce (I used Dolmio mushroom sauce)
- 1 cup finely diced mushrooms // or peas
- 1 tbsp butter
- black pepper
- 300g fresh parsley and shallot fettucine // or 200g dried fettucine
To prepare the ragu, cut beef away from the rib bone and into large chunks, reserve the ribs. Dust meat and ribs with some salt, pepper and flour and brown in some hot butter in a large stock pot. Add diced carrot and celery stalks, mix and cover with stock, water and wine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a very gentle simmer. Scoop off any brown foam that may form with a ladle and discard. Cook uncovered for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan forced, 325F, gas mark 3).
Transfer the meat, stock and vegetables into an oven-proof roasting tin, cover tightly with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for a further 2 hours, or until the meat is falling apart to the touch, checking after an hour that the stock hasn’t all evaporated. Add extra water if needed. Turn the oven off and allow the meat to rest, covered for about 20 minutes in the warm oven.
Discrad celery stalks and shread the meat using a fork.
To make the sauce, heat butter in a saucepan big enough to hold the meat as well. Add pepper and mushrooms (or peas) and stir until lightly cooked. Add meat and pasta sauce. Warm through as you prepare pasta according to its cooking instructions.
Drain pasta and serve with a generous dollop of ragu and garlic bread on the side.