Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Fresh from the Freezer: Florentine Meat Ragu
At least once a year I purchase about 40 pounds of grass-fed, dry-aged beef from Lazy69 ranch in Northern California. That is quite a lot of beef for 2 people but it is the most delicious, meaty-flavored beef I have ever eaten. When I place my order I'm able to customize certain cuts of beef and also get the standard cuts. I get quite a large amount of ground beef and normally use it for hamburgers but this time I decided to try a meat ragu.
This ragu started by sauteeing onion, celery and carrots. Then fresh rosemary, parsley and garlic were added. The ground beef was browned and red wine was added and reduced. Tomatoes, red pepper flakes and lemon zest along with chicken broth were the last ingredients in the pan. It was then slowly simmered for about 2 hours and ended up rich, slightly sweet and very hearty meat sauce. The meat ragu was mixed with penne pasta, parmesan cheese, butter and a little parsley.
I served it with a spinach-arugula salad tossed with radish, bell pepper, radicchio, carrots, green onion, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
The only items I needed to purchase from the store for this meal were the wine, spinach and arugula. Everything else was taken from my freezer, refrigerator or pantry!