When it comes to pairing wine with food I think that some people take things a little too seriously. Up until quite recently I didn’t really drink wine at all. Well, with the sole exception of champagne and prosecco as I’m a sucker for anything with bubbles. Since I’ve been with Michael I’ve discovered that I do quite like a glass (or two) to help me unwind after a stressful day. There’s a lot to be said for its restorative effects.
In fairness I’ve not graduated too far past the fizzy wines of my youth. We order our wine online – as it’s easier and better value – and I’ve been profiled as someone who likes a “fruity white”. I’m sure you can make your own jokes out of that, right? If ordering off of a wine list I’ll usually gravitate to a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, as to my palate there’s not too much that can go wrong there. And I follow that same approach regardless of what food I’m ordering. Yep, I’m the sort of person who unapologetically drinks white wine with red meat.
Try as I might, red wine and I are still not friends. Well, exceptions abound as always – so there is one outlier here: Port. But beyond the occasional after dinner port you’ll never see a glass of red wine in my hand. I do use it for cooking now and then – my Venison Ragù has a generous glug. But as a drink it’s just not for me. So, when it came to making a slow cooked beef pasta sauce I couldn’t help but wonder whether I could get away with abandoning the red and sticking with my usual fruity white!
The answer is a resounding yes. This recipe for Beef Braised in White Wine goes to show that. The flavour is noticeably lighter and a little fresher than a similar red wine based version would have been. For me that works in this recipe’s favour as it makes it surprisingly versatile. I think this would be a great replacement for the Anglicised version of ragù bolognese, as the texture and flavours are a lot more interesting. It’s also light enough to be served on a warm summer’s evening, as well as now in the depths of winter.
So, if you’re looking for a rich and flavoursome pasta sauce look no further. Cast off those shackles of only pairing red wine with beef and discover what you’ve been missing all this time!
Beef Braised in White Wine with Tagliatelle
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 600 g Lean Stewing Steak cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 large Onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp Tomato Purée
- 250 ml Dry White Wine or Vermouth
- 400 g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary Leaves finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves finely chopped
- 300 g Dried Tagliatelle pasta
- 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley finely chopped
- 30 g Fresh Parmesan cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 150°C
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the cubes of beef to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until browned. When browned all over remove from the pan and put to one side. Depending on the size of your casserole dish you’ll need to brown the beef in several batches, as you want to be sure to not overcrowd the pan. Add a little more oil whilst browning the beef, as needed.
- Reduce the heat to medium, then add the sliced onions to the casserole and stir to coat in the oil mixture. Sauté for 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until just starting to soften.
- Add the garlic and stir through the onions. Cook for a further minute or two until fragrant. Then add the tomato purée and stir to coat the onion mixture.
- Return the beef to the pan and mix through the onions. Add the wine followed by the chopped tomatoes, then stir to combine.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add the herbs and stir through the sauce.
- Cover the casserole with a well-fitting lid then transfer to the oven. Cook for 2½ – 3 hours, until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the beef is tender. Check on the beef every 30 minutes or so, as you may need to add a little more liquid if it dries out too quickly.
- You want the sauce to be thick and coating the beef, whilst the meat itself should fall apart when pressed with the back of a spoon.
- When the beef is cooked, keep warm in the oven whilst you cook the pasta.
- Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. When cooked, drain the pasta reserving a small amount of the cooking water.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, then add the cooked pasta to the dish along with a splash of the starchy cooking water. Mix together using a couple of spoons or a pair of tongs, until the pasta is coated with the sauce.
- Divide between 4 plates, then sprinkle over the fresh parsley and grated parmesan. Serve and enjoy.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||4||g|
|of which Sugars||6||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|