Bolognese Beef

A comforting italian inspired stew.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that a few simple ingredients result in such an incredible flavour. But the smell of beef slowly bubbling away in tomatoes, garlic and rosemary already gives a hint of the awesomeness that is cooking up. Patience is the most important ingredient here, but totally worth it, so don’t rush anything. You will be rewarded big times!

My mother brought a big bunch of wonderful rosemary from her garden and now I need to use it up as soon as possible. I want something mediterrean: garlic, rosemary and tomatoes spring to my mind immediately. And somehow I get a craving for the Bolognese ragout from my childhood memories …

Pavarotti singing his most famous arias, the table decorated with silver cutlery, fine tableware and a long tablecloth by my father. Grated parmigiano and heave red wine for my parents are already at the table. My mother has been slowly cooking the ragout for several hours, giving the ingredients all the time they need to do their magic. Lots of red wine, a little bacon, onion, garlic, cellery stalks and carrots together with ground beef and pork melt into an incredible sauce for a handmade pasta we bought at a local italian deli. Perfection!

This recipe isn’t a take on my mothers Bolognese, it is only inspired by it. And to be honest, I didn’t even think that it would come so close, it turned out to be way better than expected! This is a really simple recipe, which means it lives from the love you put in it. Take your time to properly brown the beef and season to the best of your abilities. Those small gestures will make a big difference in the end.

Ingredients

  • 2,5kg lean stewing beef
  • 1kg aubergine
  • 400g onions
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 690g passata
  • 200g tomato concentrate
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 500ml water
  • Salt, pepper, dried paprika, at least four twigs of rosemary and a bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Cut the beef into nice chunks and set a large roasting pan over high heat. As soon as the pan is searing hot, add the olive oil and the beef. Roast from all sides until golden brown. You may need to do this in several batches to prevent overcrowding.
  2. Meanwhile peel the onions and cut them, together with the aubergine, into big chunks. Remove the over peel from the head of garlic and slice it half.
  3. Turn the heat down and add the passata, tomato concentrate and season well with the spices suggested above. Add the water, stir, then put the garlic, onion and aubergine on top.
  4. Cover tightly and roast in the oven for about 4 hours. I like to turn off the oven and let the stew sit in the cooling oven until it is time to serve up. Don’t forget to check the seasoning before you dig in!

Macros

100g of this italian inspired stew have the following macros:

  • 82kcal
  • 10g protein
  • 2,5g carbs
  • 3,4g fat

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