I would be lying if I said that pasta wasn’t one of my favourite things in the world But fresh pappardelle with tender, juicy chunks of pulled beef in a rich red wine sauce? Definitely my favourite thing in the world. Thanks to Olly’s pulled beef, I can now make this dish whenever I please, without the 8-hour wait, and I’ve never been happier.
I’ve had a long, and troubling, history with pre-cooked beef. No matter what I do, or which brand I try, it always feels just a bit too dry in my mouth. So I can’t describe how happy I was to find that Olly’s pulled beef stayed lusciously juicy after taking an hour-long bath in my red wine sauce! In order to ensure that the pulled beef stays in large chunks, I lightly pulled the defrosted beef chunks from one another with two forks when I took it out of the packet, taking care not to put too much pressure. Since I knew the beef would have the time to cook out in the ragu sauce, I only sautéed it for about a minute and a half in the same pot as the sauce before adding in the chopped tomatoes. As for the sauce itself, I can’t stress enough how important it is to sauté your vegetables, garlic, tomato paste, and meat, and then deglaze the pot with the wine before adding in the tomatoes and liquid – this small step creates worlds of flavour in your end product.
Despite adding a unique richness to the sauce, the addition of red wine deglazes the bottom of the pan, allowing all those lovely brown bits to be scraped off the bottom, making your sauce an A+. In order to further enhance the flavour of the quality pulled beef, I used beef stock instead of chicken as the liquid base for the sauce – leading to an even richer flavour. The end result is an indulgence to a T! Since I had time on my hands, I left the sauce to cook on low heat for a little over an hour, but if you’re pressed for time 30 minutes is enough to build up some great flavour.
- 250 g fresh pappardelle
- parmesan, to serve
- fresh basil, to serve
- 1 serving Olly’s pulled beef
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 spring rosemary
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- Defrost one packet of Olly’s pulled beef overnight in the fridge.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Saute onions, celery, and carrot for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add in garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
- When the garlic begins to brown, add the tomato paste and pulled beef and cook for two minutes. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the brown bits. Then add in beef stock, rosemary, bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and allow to cook out for at least 30 minutes.
- When the sauce is almost ready, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and cook fresh pasta for around 2-3 minutes to keep it al dente. Before draining the pasta water, reserve ¼ cup and add it to the sauce.
- Mix the pasta with the ragu and serve with a generous sprinkle of parmesan and shredded fresh basil.
I went all out on this recipe and opted for fresh pasta; such a small difference but speaks miles in texture and overall experience. If fresh pasta is not that easy to find near you, you can always swap out for some dried pappardelle or other types of pasta. If you’re on a low-carb diet, I absolutely recommend serving this sauce over cauliflower puree or some creamy polenta! Simple, sophisticated and full of a flavour, this is a perfect dish for any gathering.