With three basic add-ons, my Brazilian Coffee Beef Ragu Sauce is a version of the famous Italian registered recipe, “Ragu a la Bolognese”.
Brazilian coffee, a bit of cinnamon and a bit of clove were used to enhance the Bolognese recipe and give a somewhat tropical feeling to the dish.
The idea of adding cinnamon to a meat sauce came from my dear friend Stephanos Gallos, a Greek fellow that, like myself, loves to cook. Even though he learned it from his father while still living in Greece during his youth, I found this addition something very Brazilian, since the spice, along with clove, is widely used in our cuisine.
- olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 pound ground bacon
- 1 medium-large chopped onion (or 1 cup)
- 1 large chopped carrot (or 1 cup)
- 1 large chopped celery (or 1 cup)
- 1-2 tbsp brown, organic, or regular sugar (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup brewed Brazilian coffee
- 4 cups of broth (I prefer a mix of chicken and beef)
- black pepper to taste (or any of your choice)
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 tiny pinch cloves
- salt to taste
- Add oil to a large-enough casserole, or skillet.
- Add beef and stir until well browned and a brown crust is formed on the pan surface.
- LEAVE THE CRUST, remove the ground beef.
- Add the vegetables (mire-poir: onion, carrot, and celery)
- Caramelize the vegetables.
- Return the ground beef.
- Add the tomato paste, the sugar and let it cook just a bit.
- Add the wine and let it boil.
- Add the Brazilian coffee brew, avoid boiling.
- Add 1/2 cup of warm-hot broth and lower your heat to medium-low.
- season with pepper, cinnamon, cloves. All to taste.
- Add 1/2 cup of broth (you will keep doing this until the end for about 45-50 minutes while the sauce cooks.
- Let boil in this mid-low heat. You make cover it occasionally.
- Every time you see that the sauce is getting dry, add more broth.
- Be careful not to let the sauce get too salty. If you see that the salt is OK, before time, just keep adding warm water after that, until the end.
- Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning.
- Serve with any pasta of your choosing and grated Parmesan cheese. I like spaghetti and love to add butter at this moment for a special touch.
Adding Brazilian coffee was an insight that I stole from recipes on the internet. Yes, I’m a digger! I thought it would bring some exotic taste to the dish and it did bring some exquisite notes to it.
Beef Ragu Sauce Variation
Adding different ingredients to traditional recipes always brings inflamed arguments, both against and for the practice. I have a simple opinion about it. I’m all for experimentation, but think that people should have the courtesy of not calling that new recipe by the traditional name. Add something to it. The above recipe IS NOT a Ragu alla Bolognese, even though it is heavily based on it.
Please leave a comment about this Brazilian Coffee Beef Ragu Sauce recipe.