There is something magical about the aroma of a slow-cooked meal wafting through the kitchen. The smell becomes such a comforting and satisfying experience. Today, we are diving into the world of rustic Italian cuisine with a twist: Beef Shin Ragu with Spirali Pasta. This dish encapsulates everything I love about hearty, soul-warming food. Tender beef shin simmered in a rich, tomato-based sauce, served over spirali pasta. A delightful pasta shape that captures every bit of sauce in its spirals. Let’s delve into this recipe, exploring the depths of flavour and simplicity that make it a beloved classic.
What is Spirali Pasta?
Before we jump into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate spirali pasta. This fun pasta shape resembles a spring, with its corkscrew-like design. Its unique shape is not just for aesthetics; it is designed to hold onto sauces, ensuring each bite is bursting with flavour. Spirali pasta is perfect for hearty dishes like beef shin ragu, as it captures the sauce, allowing it to cling to every twist and turn.
How to Make it in the Slow Cooker
Adapting this recipe is simple for those who prefer the convenience of a slow cooker. After searing the beef and sautéing the vegetables in a skillet, transfer everything to the slow cooker instead of a large pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, allowing the flavours to meld together beautifully. When it is time to serve, cook the spiral pasta separately according to the package instructions, then ladle the rich beef shin ragu over the cooked pasta. The slow cooker method ensures tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef with minimal effort, making it perfect for busy days or cosy nights in.
How To Cook Beef Shin Ragu with Spirali Pasta
Sear The Beef Shin
Start by heating a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Drizzle in some olive oil and let it heat up. Once hot, add the beef shin chunks to the pan. Sear the beef until it is golden brown on all sides, which should take about 6-8 minutes. This step locks in the beef’s juices and adds a rich flavour to the ragu. Once browned, transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside.
Sauté The Vegetables
In the same hot pan, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, diced carrots and celery. Sauté the vegetables until they are soft and translucent, which typically takes around 5-7 minutes. This process allows the vegetables to release their natural sweetness and aromas, enhancing the overall flavour profile of the ragu.
Create The Sauce For The Been Shin Ragu
Return the seared beef shin to the pan with the sautéed vegetables. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, beef broth and tomato paste. Sprinkle in dried oregano and thyme to add depth and complexity to the sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper, stirring everything together until well combined. Allow the ragu to come to a gentle simmer.
Let The Beef Shin Ragu Simmer
Once the ragu is simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Let the ragu gently simmer for at least 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. This slow cooking process allows the flavours to meld together beautifully while tenderising the beef shin to perfection. Keep an eye on the ragu and add more liquid if needed to maintain a thick, hearty consistency.
Cook the Spirali Pasta
About 30 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spirali pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Spirali pasta is a fantastic choice for this dish as its spiralled shape traps the sauce, ensuring each bite is packed with flavour. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.
Plate Up Your Tasty Dish
After hours of slow simmering, the beef shin ragu should be rich, thick and bursting with flavour. Taste the ragu and adjust the seasoning if necessary. To serve, spoon the ragu over the cooked spirali pasta, allowing the pasta to cradle the savoury sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavour.
Now, it is time to sit back, relax and savour the fruits of your labour. Beef Shin Ragu with Spirali Pasta is a dish meant to be enjoyed with loved ones, accompanied by a glass of your favourite wine and good conversation. Bon appétit!
Ingredients For Beef Shin Ragu with Spirali Pasta:
500 grams beef shin, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 can chopped tomatoes
250ml beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
tsp dried oregano
tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
250 grams spirali pasta
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for serving)
Slow Cooked Hearty Comfort Food
Beef Shin Ragu with Spirali Pasta is a timeless dish that brings warmth and comfort to any table. Whether you opt for the traditional stovetop method or embrace the convenience of a slow cooker, the result is the same: a hearty, flavourful meal that satisfies both body and soul. So gather your ingredients, embrace the slow-cooking process and savour every bite of this delicious Italian-inspired creation.
If you want further pasta recipes try this Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta Delight.
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