There’s nothing better on a cold and rainy day than something slow cooked, stewed, and warms your belly. For this year’s resolution, Kelvin and I are trying to plan out our meals more so that we don’t find ourselves eating the same thing everyday. He doesn’t have an issue with it, but I get sick of things easily so I like to change up our dinners every now and then.
This recipe is an adaptation from Anna Olson’s from her cookbook Anna & Michael Olson Cook at Home. The method is the same but I’ve changed up and added a few ingredients to cater to our personal preferences. Make sure you start preparing this 3 hours prior to serving time because this is a “slow cook” dish. Here’s what you’ll need for enough ragout to serve 2 for two dinners and maybe a small lunch (approx 6 servings):
- 1 lb stewing beef, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup leek, sliced and rinsed (you could use 1/2 an large onion instead, but leeks are sweeter and lend different flavour)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped into small pieces
- 1 med-large carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 3-4 kale leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomato
- olive oil for cooking
- salt and pepper for seasoning
Let’s get cooking!
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large stockpot over med-high heat. I like to use a dutch oven because of the heavy bottom and lid, keeping more moisture in the ragout when cooking. While the oil is heating up, toss your beef in the flour.
- When the oil is hot, shake off excess flour, and brown beef on all sides. If you need to, do this in batches so that the meat can properly brown. Remove beef from pan and put it aside in a bowl to catch any beef juices.
- Reduce heat to medium and add in another tbsp of olive oil. Toss in celery, leeks, kale and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Use your wooden spoon to scrape up all that delicious brown meat flavour that was left in the pan. This will make for excellent flavour when the ragout is all finished. Whatever you can’t scrape up now, wait until the wine step and try again then.
- Add garlic, bay leaves, and the entire sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Please please please if you can, use fresh here because it’ll make a difference when you’re biting into little rosemary leaves and experiencing its full flavour! But if you absolutely can not get a hold of fresh, rub the dry herbs between your fingers to wake it up before adding it to the ragout. Let it all heat through and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in your red wine and let it simmer for 5 minutes. This was our wine of choice because it’s what we had around. Cook with what you like to drink.
- Add tomatoes and return the beef, and any juices caught in the bowl, to the stockpot. Bring it up to a boil, then turn heat down to low and let it simmer for 2.5-3 hours. You’ll know when it’s ready when the beef is so tender, it can me shredded with a fork. Yum!
- If you’d like, take out the beef and shred it before serving the ragout. What you must remove though are the bay leaves and the stems of the thyme and rosemary sprigs. You can serve it with pasta as a pasta sauce, or pour it over some mashed potatoes. For our dinner, we chose mashed potatoes, but for my lunch the day after, I chose to mix it with some whole wheat pasta for a wholesome lunch.
Enjoy! Thanks as always for stopping by to take a read, and have a great day!