slow cooked beef ragu

  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1.5kg beef brisket, cut into 4 pieces 
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, plus extra, to serve 
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine 
  • 1½ cups (375ml) beef stock 
  • 1½ cups (375ml) water 
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • creamy polenta, to serve (see tip) 
  • finely grated parmesan, to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 4-litre-capacity heavy-based ovenproof saucepan over high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and cook, in batches, for 3–4 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Add the wine, stock, water, tomatoes, vinegar, paste and beef and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the oven. 
  2. Cook for 2½ – 3 hours or until tender, turning brisket half way. Shred using two forks and serve with polenta, parmesan and the extra rosemary. Serves 4.

Tip: To make the creamy polenta, place 1 litre of water in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in 1 cup (170g) instant polenta and cook, whisking constantly, for 2–3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 cup (80g) finely grated parmesan, 100g unsalted butter, ½ cup (125g) single (pouring) cream and sea salt and cracked black pepper. Serves 4.

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