This simple ragù imitates an Italian dish that’s usually made with fresh beef and tomatoes, simmered for hours until the meat falls apart in delicate fronds at the touch of a fork. Stewed steak in gravy perfectly replicates the slow-cooked tender meat of its grander cousin.
I made both versions side by side to test this recipe, and all of the people I gave them to in blind taste tests preferred this version! The lentils aren’t mandatory, but they add extra texture and protein, and make the meal go further; ideal if you’re meal prepping for the freezer, or feeding a crowd.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped, or 140g/5oz frozen diced onion
- 1 tbsp garlic paste or chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp dried herbs
- 300g tin sliced or baby carrots, rinsed and drained
- 400g tin brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2 x 400g tins stewed steak in gravy
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 175ml/6fl oz red wine (optional, see Recipe Tip)
- 1 tbsp vinegar (any kind)
- grated cheese
Put the onion in a very large non-stick pan, add the garlic, oil and herbs, and cook over a very low heat for 5–6 minutes.
Add the carrots, lentils and the stewed steak, then pour in the tomatoes, red wine and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking and burning. You may need to add a splash of water to loosen it.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 8 minutes, or according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and serve with the hot ragù on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese.