This recipe comes from Ricardo Magazine’s website. I happened across a Ricardo Magazine at Costco, bought it, then ended up subscribing to it. It’s a Canadian magazine, which is nice, and of course it’s got some good recipes and also some really good information, tips and tricks.
The recipe is easy to make – if you can make stew, you can make this. It smelled delicious as the meat was slow cooking, and the final dish was hearty and flavourful – great for a cold winters night.
I had some stew meat in the freezer that I wanted to use up, but Jason didn’t really feel like stew. So, I looked through my recipes to find a braising recipe. I also had some blue cheese in the freezer, pappardelle in the cupboard and port wine in the basement! Woot! Sadly, I forgot to buy arugula when I was grocery shopping, so my version is missing the green stuff.
I used 700g of stew meat (beef) because that’s what I had in the freezer. The dish turned out fine with the extra meat. I have a gas stove, and even on low it tends to keep boiling. I think the meat would have turned out a bit more tender if I would have been able to cook the meat at a lower temperature (and perhaps if I would have used a better cut of meat).
I didn’t have individual ‘dates’, so I used the dense block of dried, pitted dates that I have at the back of my pantry. I figured one date would be about 1 Tablespoon or so, so I used about 4 Tablespoons of the chopped dates and hoped for the best. I think it worked pretty well.
Make sure to retain some of the pasta water before you drain the pasta. I probably used about 1/2 a cup in the sauce, and it made a world of difference.
If you’re going to toast the nuts in a frying pan – watch them! I burned the first batch… I had the element on high by accident. Boo.
Pappardelle with Braised Beef, Port Wine and Blue Cheese
1 pound (454 g) boneless beef blade roast, fat removed and cubed
2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup port wine
2 cups beef broth
3 dried dates, pitted and chopped
salt & pepper
3/4 pound (375 g) pappardelle pasta
1.5 cups baby arugula, sliced
3 ounces (85 g) crumbled blue cheese
3 Tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
In a large saucepan, brown the meat in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a plate. In the same pan, sauté the onion. Add 2 Tbsp butter, if needed. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan and add the port wine. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Add the broth and dates. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until tender. Drain and keep 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the cooking water aside. Toss the pasta with the braised beef, arugula, and 2 Tbsp butter. Add cooking water, if needed. Serve and garnish with the cheese and walnuts.