Beef, mushrooms and truffle penne pasta


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A while ago I made a Beef and Cheddar pie.
Then I made 3 more.
They were all slightly different – one with a truffle cream sauce and one with tomatoes and vegetables. The constant is the tender beef – it proved to be very versatile. I added creamy mashed potatoes to mini puff pastry-lined beef pies to make potato top pies, and then as ragu served with penne with a touch of tomato paste, as shown here.

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Ingredients:

  • 1kg beef, cross-cut blade, cut into 5cm strips
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 4 Tbsp Truffle paste if you wanted to make the truffle version, or 4 Tbsp tomato paste if you prefer
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 250ml white or red wine
  • 500ml beef stock (Simon Gault’s)
  • 3 tbsp cornflour + 1/4 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Season beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in the pan to brown the beef in several batches.
  3. Brown onion until it softens. Add anchovy fillets, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves.
  4. Add wine to deglaze the pan.
  5. Return all the beef to the pan and bring to the boil. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours (or you can use a pressure cooker like I did and it’s all done in 45 minutes!)
  6. When cooked, remove beef and flake meat off with a fork.
  7. Thicken the stock with cornflour liquid.
  8. Mix the truffle paste (or tomato paste) in with the thickened stock.
  9. Cook the pasta till it’s al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water. 
  10. Mix with ragu and add a bit of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. 

Note: I prefer to cook with cross-cut blade when making stews, casseroles and curries as the texture of the meat cut helps create this irresistible gelatinous goo that binds everything together. Yum!!

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