Saturday, 21 July 2012

Beef and Cinnamon Ragu


One of the earlier articles I wrote for this blog was three different versions of spaghetti bolognese. The version from my good friend Lyd has become a favourite in our house. Whilst it cooks, the aroma from the wine and cinnamon permeates the house with a wonderful smell and as “stewing” it makes my stomach rumble eagerly awaiting the outcome. You may be thinking how lazy! He can't be bothered to write a new recipe he's turning into day time television, full of repeats! In a way you are right, but this recipe I feel needs it's own posting as it can be used for more than just spag bol.

After having this with spaghetti, I realised that this lovely recipe can be used for many other dishes and we have actually used it to make lasagne, cannelloni and we have also served it up with rice and jacket potatoes. This is one recipe that is best made the night before, giving it more time for the flavours to blend together. I was making a chilli con carne and had lots of mince beef left over, so quickly made this ragu. I cooked it for two hours and placed it in the fridge for two days. On the day I wanted to use it I cooked it for another three hours and it was gorgeous and I seriously recommend you try out.

  • 400g mince beef
  • 2tbls olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic, finely chopped
  • ½tube of tomato purée
  • ½ red wine, full bodied
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • (serves 4 if serving with pasta)

Brown the mince by placing into a saucepan and turn up the heat. Stir occasionally until all the water has gone and once the mince has started to brown, remove into a bowl and place to one side.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the oil and onions and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and again sauté for 3-5 minutes.

Place the mince back into the pan and add the tomato purée. Stir together and turn up the heat. Stir continuously and cook until the tomato purée almost burns (by doing this it's intensifies the purée flavour and releases the oils into the meat).

Turn down the heat, add the wine, beef stock, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Stir together and bring it to the boil.

Let the ragu boil for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat and cook the hell out of it. I would recommend at least 2 hours, but more is best.


There is a lot of liquid but this will reduce whilst it cooks. You might even need to add some water from time to time, so keep an eye on it.

Use in cannelloni tubes or lasagne sheets, covering with a bechamel and cheese. Or serve with spaghetti, jacket potato or rice.

2 comments:

anyoneforseconds said...

I love a good "spag bol" and have never thought of changing the usual recipe - this looks fab and will definitely have a go :)

Giles @anyone4seconds

Donkey said...

If you like the sound of this, look at the three spag bol recipes and the one with white wine and milk is also very good