Venison Ragu on Homemade Pasta

Impressing your guests at dinner has never been this simple. Slow-roasted springbok that falls off the bone makes for the perfect pasta sauce when served over homemade pappardelle or tagliatelle. An Italian slow food staple with a South African twist.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 8

Preparation Time
min

Cook time
min

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Cook's NoteBeef can also be used in place of the venison.
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INGREDIENTS

For the Venison Ragu:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled & diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled & diced
  • 1 head of celery, leaves removed & stalks diced
  • 1.5 to 2kg leg of springbok
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bottles of a good dry red wine
  • 1 tin of tomato passata/paste
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • coarse ground black pepper & sea salt

For the Homemade Pasta:

  • 400g ‘00’ flour plus extra for dusting
  • 75g semolina
  • 12 large egg yolks (save the whites for meringue)
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

To make the Venison Ragu:

Add a glug of olive oil to a Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole over medium to high heat. Add in the onions, carrots and celery and fry for about 8 minutes until the edges are slightly browned and the onions and celery are translucent.

Turn off the heat and add in the springbok leg to the casserole, ensuring that it fits snugly. Add in the bay leaves and season. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, red wine and a little water if needed. The liquid should immerse most of the meat, leaving a little uncovered at the top. Cover with the lid and place the casserole in an oven preheated to 110°C for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove the casserole from the oven and lift the meat out of the liquid, setting it into a large dish. Using two forks, shred the springbok, removing any bones or cartilage. Shred the venison to your desired consistency and set aside.

Over a medium heat, reduce the liquid in the casserole by half. Add in the tin of tomato passata and stir until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add in the pulled venison and stir to combine. Crush the garlic and stir through. Season to taste and allow the ragu to simmer gently for another 10 minutes.

This sauce is best served the following day once the flavours have been allowed to develop and richen.

To make the Homemade Pasta:

In a large shallow bowl or on a clean countertop, mix together the flour and the semolina and make a well in the middle. Pour the eggs yolks and the olive oil into the well and, using a fork, slowly pull the dry mixture into the wet.

When the dough becomes to thick to mix with the fork, use clean dry hands to knead it until smooth and elastic. Cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

To roll out, cut portions from the dough, keeping the main part in a clean damp tea towel. Flour the dough and roll through a pasta roller from the thickest setting to about 1mm, dusting the dough with ’00’ flour at each interval.

Fold the rolled dough and cut out strips at your desired length – about 1cm for tagliatelle and 2cm for pappardelle. Hang the pasta on a drying rack while you finish the rest of the dough.

Cook for about 2 minutes in boiling salted and oiled water and add a glug of extra virgin olive oil to the draining pasta to prevent it sticking together.

To serve, arrange a twirl of pasta in a wide shallow bowl and top with about 100g of the ragu. Sprinkle over some finely chopped Italian flatleaf parsley and finish off with a grating of fresh Parmesan.

Recipe and images courtesy of Georgia East.

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