beef rag├╣

1kg beef joint

2 celery stalks, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

750ml beef stock

2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes

4 bay leaves

couple springs thyme, rosemary or a handful of sage leaves

10 black peppercorns

  • Pre-salt the beef 2 days before cooking and leave in the fridge. Use 4 tsp. of kosher salt per 1kg of beef. 
  • Seal the beef. I've recently been using a newly purchased skillet and it is so much easier than sealing in a pan.
  • In a large pot add a glug of olive oil and soften the celery, carrots and onion.
  • Add the bay leaves, herb of choice and peppercorns. 
  • Make a well and add the beef.
  • Pour in the stock and add the tinned tomatoes, give a good stir.*
  • Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to lowest setting and cover with a lid.
  • Leave to simmer for around 3 hours, stir occasionally.
  • Remove beef from the pot, transfer to a serving dish and cover with foil. 
  • There will be a lot of sauce, pour off enough for your meal into a pan. Thicken with cornflour if needed. 
  • You can leave the sauce as it is nice and chunky or you can whizz it up in a blender for a smooth sauce. However be careful because it will be very hot.
  • Leave the rest of the sauce to cool, it can be bagged up and frozen - a quick sauce for midweek meals.

Either:

  • Add cooked pasta to the sauce, stir through.
  • Slice the beef, it will be really tender and fall apart.
  • Serve pasta, add beef on top and garnish with cheese. 

Or:

  • Serve the beef and sauce on a bed of mashed potatoes or polenta. 

* alternatively at this stage you could transfer everything into a slow cooker, with 400ml of stock and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 10 hours.