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Beef & Tomato Ragù

Make your own savory ragù or bolognese sauce at home-- this recipe happens in a few steps over a few hours, and is actually better reheated the next day. We used a food mill when making the tomato sauce-- a really useful and not too expensive kitchen toy that we highly recommend having around for sauces and soups.

 2 beef neck bones, or 1 large or 2 small beef shanks *see note
 4 or 5 tbsp olive oil or FFM sunflower seed oil
 2 large carrots, peeled
 2 large onions, peeled
 2 stalks of celery
 1 tbsp dried oregano
 1 tbsp dried thyme
 1 qt pkg FFM frozen tomatoes, or 4 cups tomato sauce
 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
 Salt and pepper

Chop the onions, celery and carrot into 1 inch pieces.


Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with the oil. Add the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle the dried herbs over the vegetables. Place the beef on top of the vegetables. Place the roasting pan in a 350 degree oven for about ½ hour then lower the heat to 275 and cover the roasting pan with a lid or with foil tightly sealed around the edges. Braise for about 4 hours or until the meat falls easily from the bone. The time will depend on what cut of meat and what kind of roasting pan you're using.


Add the tomatoes after the first 2 hours of braising. Recover the roasting pan with the lid or foil.


When the meat can be easily removed from the bones the braising is finished.


The second part of the process: Allow the meat, vegetables and braising liquid to cool. Take the meat from the roasting pan and set it aside. Pass the liquid and vegetables through a food mill into a sauce pan that is large enough to hold the sauce and the meat.


Remove the meat from the bones. Remove fat and connective tissue from the meat and break the meat into small pieces. Add the meat to the tomato sauce. Add tomato paste to thicken. You can refrigerate this ragù for two or three days.


When ready to use reheat the ragù. Season it well with salt and pepper. Serve the ragù with rigatoni or other pasta such as penne or farfalle, or over wilted kale.