A hearty, warming dinner recipe for Beef Neck and Marrow Ragu – serve with your favourite pasta

1kg beef neck
5cm marrowbone
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 tbs tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tbs sugar
2 beef stock cubes (I used standard good old Knorrox)
1 whole dried red chilli
2 bay leaves
1 small sprig rosemary
olive oil, for frying
chopped parsley and parmesan or pecorino, for serving

How to
Brown the beef neck and marrowbone in a generous glug of olive oil, remove and set aside. Add the onions, celery and carrots to the same pan with another glug of olive oil if need be and fry for a few minutes. (Cook’s tip #1: You could painstakingly chop the onion, celery and carrots by hand. I just ‘sommer’ plonk the lot in my food processor and get the chopping out the way in 30 seconds.)

Add the garlic and tomato paste and fry for a further minute then add the red wine. Boil it for a minute then add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and place the saucepan on your smallest plate on its lowest heat setting and let it gently bubble away for a good 2+ hours until the neck is incredibly soft and the marrow has disappeared into the sauce. If your heat setting is low enough, there should be sufficient liquid. But do check it from time to time and add a dash of water if it’s cooking too dry. (Cook’s tip #2: You could also use your slow cooker for this, or pop it in a 150 degree Celsius oven instead of cooking it on the hob.)

Once done, remove the rosemary sprig and chilli and use two forks to flake the meat. Taste and adjust salt if need be. Serve with pasta of your choice or even gnocchi, scattered with chopped parsley and lashings of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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Recipe by Lizet Hartley, courtesy of Melkkos & Merlot, a bilingual blog about food.