400mlhot beef stockusing 2 beef stock cubes with water is fine
1tspdried thymeor a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Rigatoni pastacooked as per instructions on the pack. I usually cook 100g dry pasta per person, but I love pasta
Handful flat leaf parsleychopped
Preheat oven to 160c (or put slow cooker on low to heat up). Place the braising beef in a bowl and mix with the flour and a good pinch of salt and pepper. In a casserole pan, heat up the olive oil and place the beef in the pan. Cook the beef on a high heat until just browned on all sides. Turn down the heat and add in the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are starting to turn translucent. Add in the carrot, celery and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add in the tomato puree and stir to coat everything. Add in the wine, turn up the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes. Finally add in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and thyme. Bring everything to a gently bubble.
Oven version: Place a lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours until the beef is falling apart. Check every hour or so to ensure the sauce isn't running dry. Top up with boiling water if it's starting to look dry.
Slow Cooker/Crockpot version: Pour everything into the slow cooker/crockpot, place the lid on and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Each slow cooker is different, so you may need to add some water if you think the sauce is going to dry up during the cooking time.
Serve with rigatoni and garnish with the cheese and parsley. I like to mix the rigatoni into the sauce, then scoop it out and serve it up, topped with the meaty chunks.
Any leftover ragu can be cooled, placed in a lidded container and refrigerated or frozen. Ensure the ragu is fully defrosted before reheating thoroughly in a pan or microwave.