Having a big ol’ kitchen to mess around in has inspired me to get back in there and try some new recipes. We had a friend over for a Dinner ‘n’ Dexter night and I wanted to make something hearty and comforting. I know our friend is a big fan of pasta (as am I) and I have lots of herbs kicking around, so I opted to make a braised beef and rosemary pasta sauce. Not too fancy but definitely comforting, aromatic and flavourful. I recommend making this in the slow cooker as you’ll be using stewing beef. The longer you let it go in the pot, the more tender it will be.
1.5lb stewing beef, cubed
2 tb veg oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 tb dried rosemary
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 ts dried oregano
2 tb balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 ts dried thyme
1 ts salt
2 ts pepper
2 ts fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
1. Pour the vegetable oil into a pan and set to medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches being careful not to overcrowd the pan, roughly 1 minute per side. Season with salt & pepper. Place browned meat on a plate and continue with next batch.
2. Lower heat to medium and add in the onion, dried rosemary and a pinch of salt & pepper. Sauté 3-4 minutes until onions soften.
3. In the slow cooker, combine the onions and rosemary and the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, thyme, 1/2 cup of water and season with salt & pepper to taste. Put the beef and any of the juices that have accumulated into the pot and stir. Set to low and simmer for 4-6 hours until the beef is tender, stirring and tasting occasionally.
4. With a few minutes to go, add in the fresh rosemary and stir.
5. Cook pasta to al dente and ladle sauce over. Top with parmesan cheese.