Veal and porcini ragu

Inspired by the recent trip to Rome and lunch at Artusi in Peckham the weekend after! I was going to make this with sausage too, but  the sausage I got turned out to be really spicy so I added just a couple of teaspoons into the mix as I was sauteing the shallots and used the rest to stuff arancini.

What to use – served 4 for a main

  • 400g veal chunks or 250g veal and 150g Italian sausage
  • 200ml red wine
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 500ml passata
  • 240ml water
  • big pile of chopped shallots
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh sage (I used dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pappardelle – enough for 4

How to use it

You need a heavy based pan with a lid that can go into the oven for this.

Start by soaking the mushrooms. Add them to a pan with the 240ml of water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to soak for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the mushrooms, retaining the water for use in the ragu.

Saute the shallots and crushed garlic in a good glug of olive oil. At this point I also added a small amount of sausage. If you had less spicy sausage, you’d move the onions to one side and fry the sausage at this point.

Brown the veal – I did this in a separate pan and then scraped the juices back into the other pan along with the meat.

Add 200ml red wine, bring to a bubble and reduce – circa 5 minutes. Add 300 ml chicken stock and do the same for approx 10 minutes. Add the mushroom water and keep reducing down for another 10 minutes.

Chop the mushrooms and add to the pan, along with 2 bay leaves, 2tsp sage. Then add the 500ml of passata. Stir well, bring back to a bubble.

Cover and put into a 150C oven and slow cook for 2 hours, checking and stirring occasionally. After a couple of hours, break up the now very soft meat pieces gently with a fork.

I made this a day in advance then reheated when ready to eat.

When ready, boil your pappardelle until al dente, drain, then add to the ragu and toss until coated. Serve with a generous sprinkle of parmesan.

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