Nina Timm of My Easy Cooking is a great cook, with one eye for a good hearty family meal and the other eye for the budget. I find she is a great teacher to, telling of the history of dishes or cooking styles or methods. Here she talks of the ragù. “A ragù is an Italian sauce to which meat is added. The meat is cooked very slowly until it is most tender and intense in flavour. The actual word ragù is derived from the French word ragout that translates to stew. Ragù, as we know it, is always made in Bolognese style, which means it is served over pasta of any kind. A ragù is usually made by adding meat to a sofrito (Italian) or a mirepoix (French) (which is a half-fried mixture of finely diced carrots, celery and onions) adding tomatoes and seasonings and then cooked for a very long time to make this sauce thick, reduced and intense in flavour.
Your next question will be…..”What do leftovers from leg-of lamb have to do with a slow-cooked ragù?”
Well it is simple, I think! More than half of the cooking time is done while you prepare your Sunday Roast leg of Lamb. Provided that you keep the meaty stock from your leg of lamb, this meat is ideal to use for you quick and easy ragù. Let me show you…”
Leg of Lamb Ragù
Leftover Leg-of lamb meat – cut off the bone and diced
1 tin of whole peeled tomatoes
1 sachet of tomato puree
1 large onion – diced finely
2 carrots – diced finely
2 sticks of celery – diced finely
2 cloves of garlic- chopped
1 bay leaf
grated fresh nutmeg
salt and pepperr
1 cup red wine
2-3 pieces of streaky bacon – diced
a pinch of sugar
Heat the oil in a pot and add the bacon. Fry until partially cooked and then add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté slightly and add all other ingredients. Cook the sauce for about 30-40 minutes until all the flavours have mingled nicely. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. A pinch of sugar makes a huge difference.
Serve on a bowl of hot cheesy polenta. (Simply cook the polenta according to the instructions on the packet and then add a knob of butter and about 2 handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese).
Nina Timm has become a popular household name in South Africa and apart from her passion for cooking, her heart is with people. In 2012 she received the Blogger of the Year Award from Eat In Magazine and has not looked back since. She understands what her readers want. She and her family live an unpretentious lifestyle with love in abundance and a deep-rooted belief in God. With her warm and heartfelt nature she has become a loyal and trusted radio personality to RSG listeners, where she has a weekly show every Thursday Morning just after 9, featuring her own recipes and those of other South African Food Bloggers.