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Author Notes: I LOVE entertaining! I love bringing different groups of people together and making them happy, and this Spicy Beef Ragout is perfect for just that! Even though it's March now, it's still cold and this is a great dish to warm the soul. Hearty and so very good, make it now. You will be delighted! —MaryFrancesCooks
- 13 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on noodles
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 7 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 pounds trimmed beef chuck cut in 2” chunks
- 1/2 of a large fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 15 large Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
- 3 teaspoons crushed red chile flakes
- 2 cups robust red wine
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 3 branches fresh rosemary, each about 7” long
- 2 small fresh bay leaves
- 1 pound egg noodles
- Chopped Italian parsley for garnish
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pile tomatoes on top, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Add leaves from 4 branches of the thyme, toss again, then spread the tomatoes in a single layer on the foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in an ovenproof casserole on medium high. Dry meat, season with salt and pepper and sear in several batches to avoid crowding until lightly browned on all sides.
- Remove meat to a bowl. Lower heat to medium low. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Add fennel, leeks, shallot and garlic to casserole, stir, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the flour, cook for a moment or two, than add olives, chile flakes and wine. Stir, scraping pan, and bring to a simmer. Add stock. Return meat and its juices to the casserole.
- Stir in the branches of rosemary, bay leaves and remaining thyme, making sure they are immersed into the meat and liquid. Cover and place in the oven. Place the pan of tomatoes in the oven. Cook both for 2 hours.
- Remove the pans from the oven. Check seasoning of meat. Cool and then refrigerate for 1 – 5 days.
- Remove from refrigerator for one hour before putting in the oven. Reheat, covered, in a 250 – 300 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Boil 1 lb. of egg noodles in salted water. (I cooked them 3 minutes less than the package directions stated.) Drain and spread out on a large platter. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil. Transfer meat and sauce atop the noodles.
- Warm the tomatoes in the microwave for a minute or two, arrange tomatoes on top and sprinkle on chopped parsley. Serve with LOVE and enjoy thoroughly!!!