Make Ahead

Spicy Beef Ragout

March  7, 2017
0 Ratings
Photo by MaryFrancesCooks
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

Even though it is now March and daylight savings time starts tonight, it is still cold and this is the perfect dish to warm the soul. Hearty and so very good, make it now. You will be delighted. I bought nearly 3.4 pounds of meat and trimmed most of the fat, to end up with at least 3 pounds. This makes for a really healthy dish as even after refrigeration, there was no fat to skim off.

I made this for a dinner party and EVERYONE had seconds. After I had served the first helping, they all made fun of me as to how much I had made. Ahem. There wasn’t a real single serving left – only one piece of meat and a handful of noodles. I made this on a Sunday to serve on Thursday. Letting it sit in the fridge to “mature” is the very best thing to do. Plus it makes for an easy dinner the night you are serving it! —MaryFrancesCooks

What You'll Need
  • 13 plum tomatoes quartered lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 sprigs of 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 of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 15 large Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 cups robust red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 3 branches fresh rosemary, about 7" long each
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • chopped Italian parsley for garnish
  1. 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.
  2. 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 to a bowl. Lower heat to medium low. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!!!

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