Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

ragu10It was cold. It was wet. There was only one thing to do. It was time to pull out the big casserole dish and make something to warm us up.

I asked Pete to get me the best cut of beef to slow cook, a piece that would be able to be pulled apart with a fork after a few hours simmering on the stove top. He came back with a gorgeous piece of gravy beef, which he diced into big chunks for me.

ragu 1Using a Jamie Oliver recipe, I got all my ingredients together, the beef, red onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. I diced the onion and garlic, along with some carrot and celery

ragu 3Then I seared the beef, before adding the vegetables and herbs and a generous splash of red wine. The smells coming out of that pot were out of this world!!

ragu 4

ragu 5After letting that simmer away for a considerable amount of time, I then added tinned tomatoes and some pearl barley

ragu6I let all of those gorgeous goodies simmer away under a cartouche and a lid for over three hours. When I was satisfied that the meat would fall apart with no effort, I removed it from the sauce and pulled it apart with a fork

ragu7ragu8I popped it back into the sauce to heat back through. At this stage, the kids were all salivating and I wondered if the ragu would last until Pete got home from work.

ragu9When I heard his car pull up, I put on the pasta. Gorgeous Giuseppe Conghiglioni Pasta Shells (available at Black Forest Meats) to hold all that beautiful sauce.

ragu 2The finished product was beautiful. And thoroughly enjoyed by all. It warmed us up brilliantly, and the leftovers will make a brilliant Monday night meal.

ragu10The recipe was from Jamie Oliver‘s book Jamie’s Kitchen.

ragurecipeAnd of course we paired it with a nice glass of red. Delicious!


Same owners. New name.

Three years ago my husband Pete and I bought a little butcher shop in the heart of the Macedon Ranges in a quiet country town called Woodend. After a decade of owning and managing big boutique butcher shops over in Perth (including Cottesloe’s Boatshed Quality Meats) we decided to make the tree change back to Victoria, back to where we grew up, to raise our family.

When Glenn’s Country Meats became a part of our lives, we let it live with us for quite some time before we decided to make some changes. The biggest change of all was to be the name.

The beautiful Black Forest is a defining feature of the area surrounding Woodend. At the foot of the imposing land mass that is Mount Macedon, I remember many road trips to Melbourne passing through the forest. Initially it frightened me (as a small child), then, years later as I travelled the road with my own children, it bacame known as Sophie’s Forest (her love of Fireman Sam and the Ponty Pandy Forest created this name) and is always met with happy smiles. Pete and I decided that our shop needed a name to reflect its surroundings, and so Black Forest Meats was born.

Luckily for me, a couple of years ago, I was introduced to an extremely talented lady, Lorena Carrington, whom I collaborate with on another project (Comida de Moda). When the time came to create a design, I knew Lorena was the person to ask. What followed was a joyful journey (including a trip to photograph some cows!) resulting in our gorgeous logo. I can’t thank Lorena enough for bringing the Black Forest Meats look to life.

Now that our children are all in school, I have more time to spend bringing our passion for good food to you. I plan on sharing with you Pete’s top choices each week, some great recipes, new products or even just ideas on how to use existing ones.

We welcome you to Black Forest Meats.