My favorite kind of cooking in winter is a slow braise that literally cooks itself in the oven and fills the house with an enticing aroma. This dish is an adaptation of an old Gourmet magazine favorite, using a cheaper cut of beef, a rump roast. Easy to assemble, it yields the most tender and flavorful ragu which can be served over pasta. Like all braises, this is even better on the second day, a perfect entertaining dish that you can simply reheat. Be prepared for the compliments to the chef!
GARLICKY OVEN- BRAISED BEEF RAGU with RED WINE AND TOMATOES
3-3 1/2 lb boneless beef rump roast
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
1 whole head of garlic, separated into cloves, left unpeeled
2 bay leaves
8 springs of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 glugs of dry red wine, about 1/2 c
2 T Worcestershire or balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb of bucatini or pappardelle pasta, cooked according to directions
1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley and grated parmesan, to serve
Preheat oven to 300 F. In a deep, oven proof 4-5 quart, heavy pot with a lid, place the roast. Dump the tomatoes on top and with your hands or kitchen sheers, roughly break them up in chunks. Throw in the onion, bay leaves, thyme, wine and Worcestershire. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours. Remove the bay leaves and thyme. Using 2 forks, shred the beef and mash the garlic and onions. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot pasta and top with chopped parsley and grated parmesan. Enjoy with a full bodied glass of red wine, such as a Cabernet. Brilliant!