Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fennel and Mushroom Ragu

The temperature has dropped again so it's time to delve into the freezer to see what delights await us for dinner.  There's just one problem.  In order to make room for all the food over Christmas, we ate all the delights so I have to start batch cooking again.  This is a perfect base meal to make - it tastes delicious, freezes brilliantly and is incredibly versatile.  Because I've used a mixture of beef and pork, the flavours are more intense than a regular bolognese sauce and the fennel is a perfect match for the sausage.

You can use this as a bolognese with spaghetti, a really tasty lasagne meat sauce or the base of a pasta bake with lots of breadcrumbs and parmesan.

So, what would you do with this sensational sauce?

Fennel & Mushroom Ragu

1 tbsp Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
350g Minced Beef
150g Smoked Pork Sausages, skins removed
2 tbsp chopped Rosemary, Thyme & Oregano
1 bulb Fennel, finely sliced
75g Mushrooms, thinly sliced
300g Passata
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt & Pepper

Heat the oil & fry the onion gently in a large pot until soft and translucent. Transfer to a plate.

Add the minced beef and sausage meat to the pot and break down with a spoon. Cook until starting to brown.

Return the onion to the meat mix, add the herbs and fennel and cook for 5 minutes.

Now add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes (do this to draw out the moisture so the ragu doesn't become watery).

Finally, add the passata, sugar, salt & pepper and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

If you're freezing this, let it go completely cold before transferring to a container for freezing.  It keeps for at least 6 months.


  1. Looks great A. I might give this a go without the mushroom - one of the few vegetables I cannot stand in the house!

  2. Catriona - how about courgette? I usually use them but had run out this time...

  3. this sounds delicious, gonna give this a go, thanks for sharing.