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Braised Beef Ragu #Whole30

NOTE: This is not the Whole30 compliant plate.

I swore I would never make two dinners when the boys were younger, meaning I was not going to make dinner for me and Jake and, then, feed the boys chicken tenders. They ate what we were eating. Period.

But, as I continue on my Whole30 Adventure, I find myself making two dinners. Sort of.

This is the Whole30 compliant plate!

I set a pot of beef braising while we hiked to Snively's Ridge. I knew that after that grueling climb, we would all be starving!

 

As soon as we got home, I served it over gluten-free pasta for my three and spooned it on top of sweet potato ribbons for my Whole30 compliant version. Oh, and since I usually use red wine, I skipped that and tried it with 100% cranberry juice - no sugar added. I think it worked well.



Ingredients 
  • 1 T  olive oil
  • 2 to 2-1/2 pounds beef, cubed (I used chuck...you can use really any cut of meat because it braises so long that it will be tender)
  • 1 C onion, peeled and diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 C diced carrots
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 1 C broth (I used beef broth)
  • 2 C diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Organic)
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C 100% cranberry juice (if you aren't worried about being Whole30 compliant, use red wine)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 C thinly sliced basil
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground salt, as needed
  • freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • pasta for serving (I used gluten-free spaghetti for the boys and sweet potato ribbons for myself)


Procedure 
Heat the oil in a large, dutch oven. Add the beef into the pot. Sear on each side for  3 to 5 minutes - until a nice brown begins to appear. Add the onions and garlic to the pot. Let them cook until the onion is translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add in the carrots and celery. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour in the broth and cranberry juice. Add in the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Stir in the bay leaves, thyme, basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Let the meat braise for 3 to 4 hours - longer is fine, if you need to.

While you cook your pasta/pasta substitute, remove the cover and bring the pot to a boil. Cook until the sauce is reduced to your preferred thickness. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, mix some of the ragu in with your pasta/pasta substitute. Portion out your pasta into individual servings. Spoon more sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

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