When it comes to batch cooking, simplicity is key. There’s no point having one hundred pots and pans on the go, because you’re going to get stressed out and most likely burn something!
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have a lot going on when I’m working with clients, but I’ve been cooking for a long time! So, I wanted to share this really easy and flavour-packed recipe, that you can get in a pan and pretty much leave to cook itself.
Why it’s great for batch cooking:
- It’s easy to make tonnes of, simply multiply the ingredients for however many portions you’d like.
- It freezes really well, without affecting the flavour.
- You can pair it with tonnes of sides, for variety all through the week. (Think jacket potatoes, linguine, rice, couscous, wraps…)
- One pot – so easy to clean up after!
This ragu is such a comforting meal, and I simply love eating cosy one pot dinners as we move into autumn.
I chose to add lentils as they add body, fibre and protein to your ragu and they absorb all of the rich flavours so well.
For any kitchen novices, this is really simple but full of flavour so a great place to start.
Ingredients (makes roughly four portions)
- 400g 10% fat minced beef
- 250g tomato passata
- 1 onion
- 1 celery stick
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can/carton cooked lentils (brown/puy/green)
- A few basil leaves
- Sea salt and Black Pepper
- Start by adding the oil to a hot pan, and sweating down your carrots, onion and celery (mire poix).
- Stir for 5-10 minutes until the onions are translucent, then add the minced garlic and bay leaves.
- Stir for another 2-3 minutes and then add the fresh herbs and paprika. (Remove the leaves from the sprigs, and finely chop to use.)
- Stir altogether, making sure the heat isn’t so high that anything burns.
- Add the minced beef, salt and pepper, and brown off in the pan.
- Once the beef is browned, add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the pan and get all of the flavours into your meat.
- Next, pour over the tomato passata, and the lentils – stirring well and reducing the heat to a very gentle simmer. You just want to ragu to start to slowly reduce down now, so providing the heat is set low enough you can leave your ragu for 20-30 minutes, with just an occassional stir so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
- When you’re happy with the taste and consistency, simply remove from the heat and tub up into containers ready for the week ahead! I like to finish mine with a few shredded basil leaves and salt to taste.
Give this recipe a go – it’s so simple but delicious and really is a recipe I come back to time and time again as it is so reliable.
Miss FF xx