Quick Beef Ragu

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m2. quick beef ragu

Quick Beef Ragu

While I love to slow cook a ragu for hours and hours, sometimes you just need dinner quickly.

The solution? Use lots of butter to soften the acidity of the tomatoes for almost instant deliciousness.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes

4 beef sausages
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
4 tablespoons butter
1 bag baby spinach / baby kale
parmesan shavings (optional)

1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan on a high heat. Remove beef sausage from the casings and add to the pan.

2. Cook beef, stirring until well browned, broken up and cooked through.

3. Add tomato and butter and simmer for a few minutes until everything is hot.

4. Taste and season with salt if needed.

5. To serve, divide baby spinach /kale between two bowls. Top with ragu and scatter with parmesan (if using).

Variations

different meat – feel free to use plain minced beef, pork, chicken or veal or a combo.

vegetarian / vegan – replace beef with cooked lentils, chickpeas or chopped mushrooms. Or both! Vegans will need the dairy-free option.

dairy-free / paleo
– skip the parmesan or replace with grated brazil nuts or sliced almonds. Replace the butter with lashings of extra virgin olive oil.

more veg – after browning the beef, soften a diced onion, carrot and stick of celery in the pan before adding the tomato. Mushrooms are also lovely here. Add chopped raw veg to the baby spinach like red peppers, snow peas or grated carrot. Or serve on a bed of zucchini or carrot noodles.

more substantial (carb-lovers) – serve with cooked spaghetti, your fave garlic bread or qunioa.

more substantial (low carb) – serve with more substantial low carb veggies like broccoli, winter greens or roast cauliflower. A handful of roast almonds, macadamias or brazil nuts with extra Parmesan is also an option.

no canned tomatoes – use a small jar of tomato puree or your fave commercial tomato pasta sauce.

keto / ultra low carb – only use 1/2 a can tomatoes.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

beef sausages – freeze them.

can tomatoes – keep it in the pantry.

butter – will keep in the fridge for weeks.

baby spinach / baby kale – either pop them in the freezer or wilt down in a covered pot with a little olive oil. This way they’ll keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

parmesan – wrap in waxed paper or baking paper and store in the fridge in a sealed paper bag or airtight container. Will keep for months. Can be frozen if you’re going away.

Problem Solving Guide

too salty – use different sausages next time and/or unsalted butter. For now the only trick is to dilute it so serve with extra baby spinach and skip the parmesan.

bland – use more salt and/or parmesan.

too acidic – add more butter or some olive oil to balance the tomato.

Serving Suggestions

Lovely on it’s own.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria P. January 19, 2020

I cooked this yesterday, served with mashed cauliflower & some baby spinach. Was delicious!

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jules January 28, 2020

Yum Maria!

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Cristina Cinque August 5, 2016

I made this today as the vegetarian option. It was so good! My meat-eating boyfriend loved it, too! I sauteed onion, garlic, and mushrooms then added lentils. I worry sometimes the recipes won’t work as well when subbing the vegetarian options, but this one was great and so easy. Thank you!

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jules August 11, 2016

Wonderful Cristina!

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Sarah Charters November 3, 2015

Jules,
I’m having this one tonight. Looks like this recipe is going straight to the pool room (recipe book) (a little Castle reference for you!)

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jules November 5, 2015

Awesome Sarah!
Feel very honoured to have made it too the ‘pool room’
Jx

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