Slow Cooked Beef Ragu with Red Wine, Porcini Mushrooms and Bone Marrow

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beef ragu

This is a truly satisfying and comforting dish that warms the belly and heart. Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu with Bone Marrow served on pappardelle pasta. The rich sauce is infused with porcini mushrooms and red wine then topped with parmesan and olive oil. Beef brisket is a wonderfully cheap cut of beef that benefits from slow cooking and melds easily into a rich sauce, resulting in plenty of flavour.


800gm beef braising steak
Olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery stick, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Small bunch each of rosemary, thyme and oregano, leaves removed and finely chopped (substitute 1 tsp dried oregano if fresh unavailable).
1 tsp dried chilli flake
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms plus boiling water
2 glasses red wine
300ml beef stock
2 x 400gm tinned tomatoes
2 marrow bone pieces (approx 10cm)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
Fresh or dried pappardelle
Parmesan cheese and olive oil for garnish


  1. Heat some olive oil in a crockpot, le creuset or other stove top casserole pot. Fry braising steak briefly on a high heat until browned. Remove from and set aside.
  2. Add onions to the pan and cook until soft. Next the grated carrot, celery, garlic, chilli flakes, and herbs continuing to cook over a low heat for 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes. Once ready drain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Chop mushroom into small pieces. Strain liquid to remove any grit and reserve for cooking.
  4. Return beef to pot along with red wine, bring to boil then turn to simmer and let it bubble until most of the liquid has cooked away.
  5. Next add beef stock, tinned tomatoes, porcini mushrooms and their liquid and cracked black pepper. Bring to the boil. Then cover and turn to simmer. Cook for 2 – 3 hours depending on your stove and cooking pan. The ragu is ready when the sauce has reduced down to a thick consistency and the beef is soft and pulls apart into juicy strands.
  6. While the ragu is simmering away, heat oven to 200 degrees. Place bone marrow on a tray and roast for 20 minutes. When cooled down scoop marrow out of bones and set aside.
  7. Boil water with some salt and cook pappardelle according to packet instructions. Drain when ready reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  8. To finish the sauce, at the end of cooking stir in the bone marrow and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring through until melted along with some of the pasta cooking liquid to loosen the ragu. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  9. Divide pappardelle into bowls, cover with ragu, grated parmesan and drizzle with good quality olive oil.

beef ragu

Grilled Asparagus, Courgette & Mozzarella in Lemon Basil Oil

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Grilled Asparagus

Italians treat vegetables with love and care, respecting the art of cooking them without adding meat due to historically not affording the luxury on a regular basis. It’s a fact that vegetables leave you feeling lighter, digest easier and the nutrition from greens is a must to keep you going.

This Italian recipe, classically grilled and charred vegetables doused in good quality olive oil, basil and lemon is deeply satisfying. The bread has to be superior, white, oily and crusty on the outside. Rubbed with oil, grilled and then rubbed again with garlic, the delicious base lays the foundation for the crunchy charred green vegetables topping.

I made this for lunch, stacked on toast. For a dinner option try adding cannelloni beans, or spiralled pasta and a little parmesan to beef (!) it up.

Grilled Asparagus



Olive Oil
200gm asparagus
1 courgette, sliced into thin strips
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
125g buffalo mozzarella
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp capers, chopped
2 tbsp basil
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
1 tbsp lemon rind
Good quality bread for toasting
1 garlic clove



  1. Heat griddle pan on stovetop.
  2. Put sliced onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain. This will help take the overpowering onion taste away.
  3. Rub asparagus and courgette in a little olive oil. Griddle in pan until soft and charred lines appear.
  4. To make dressing, mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon rind, chopped capers, salt and pepper and whisk together with a fork.
  5. Tear buffalo mozzarella into medium sized pieces.
  6. When vegetables are ready, place in a bowl along with the onion and some additional salt and pepper.
  7. Cut bread into thin or thick slices (whatever you prefer). Rub with a little olive oil. Griddle in pan until browned and charred lines appear. Cut garlic clove in half and use it to rub each piece of toast.
  8. Pour dressing over courgette asparagus mixture, coat evenly. Next add in mozzarella.
  9. Serve in a bowl or large plate alongside toasted garlic bread
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