This was the very first dish that I learned from my ex a long time ago. He was an Italian Chef and he can cook some mean Italian dishes. I like cooking this dish as it freeze really well. We love this slow braising beef in rich tomato sauce and it so tender that it falls apart when you break it with fork. It is simple, rustic and delicious. I usually use some of the sauce and freeze the rest for another time. The sauce tends to thickens when you reheat it so remember to add some water or pasta water to it until your get the consistency that you like.
2 pound of beef chuck roast – cut into 1" chunks
2 - 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 - 14 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 large onion – cut small
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 tablespoons of fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil to a large Dutch oven and heat to medium-high heat. Add the beef to the hot pot and sear the meat on both sides, working in batches if needed. You don't want to over crowd the pot. Remove the beef and set it aside.
2. In the same pot, add in a bit of olive oil if need. Stir in the onion and cook it for 2-3 minutes, until softened and add in the garlic cloves. Continue to sauté 1 minuter.
3. Add in the red wine and bring it up to a boil. Pour in all the can tomatoes; use your spoon to crush the whole tomatoes. Add in the bay leaves, basil, sugar, salt and bring it up to boil. Return the beef back to the pot with any juices that accumulated on the plate.
4. Bring up to boil, lower down the heat to, cover and let it simmer for 2 – 2 ½ hours or until the beef is done when it pulls apart easily with a fork. Add in the pepper and check seasonings to see if it need more salt or sugar.
5. Cook the rigatoni pasta according to the box instructions. Once it is done serve it with the beef ragu.