Three meat ragu and cheesy mash for Valentines day

Valentines day was coming up, I had some vague plans but before I knew it, the date was here. I am not a big fan of going out to eat and it had been a manic week. In the end I made it just before the butcher closed. I had a look around and my eyes stopped at a nice piece of shin of beef. Valentines for me is about making an extra effort to show love and what better way than to cook something I knew would hit the spot?!

I choose beef but after some thought I wanted a chorizo cooking sausage and a couple of smoked, streaky bacon rashes for some extra flavor.

3 meat ragu

preparation time 25 minutes (this is if you trim and cut the meat yourself)

cooking time 1 ½ hour

serves 4


  • 400 gr shin of beef, I bought it all in one piece
  • 1 cooking chorizo sausage
  • 2 rashes of smoked, streaky bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch of spring onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic (less if yo prefer but the garlic will mellow in flavor as it cooks)
  • 1 dl or ½ cup of red wine
  • 1 tin of pomodori tomatoes
  • 1 tin of water
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

Trim and cut the shin of beef. Cut some pieces very small, some in strips and some pieces slightly larger. By cutting the meat in to different sizes it will add to the texture of the dish. Shin of beef is a cheap cut with a lot of flavor. You can make this dish quicker by using beef mince but I love the meaty chunks.


Skin the chorizo cooking sausage and slice the bacon.


Chop the onion and the garlic and then slice the spring onion.


Pan fry the bacon almost crispy and then remove the meat from the fat, add the chorizo sausage and pan fry until browned. Remove the chorizo sausage meat and add the beef in batches and let brown. If you add too much meat in one go the meat will not brown so do it in smaller batches. When all the meat is browned add the onion and garlic. Let the onion and garlic just cook through before adding the browned meats back to the pan.

Add the red wine, the tin of tomatoes and and extra tin of water, the spring onion, the Shaoxing  wine and the soy sauce. Last add some salt and pepper before placing the lid on top and gently simmer for an hour. Stir every now and then and after 1 hour taste and add more salt and pepper if wished and let simmer for another 30 minutes.


While this was cooking I made a cheesy, garlic mash to go with the beef ragu. The flavors of the ragu were so delicate I wanted something with flavor!

Cheesy garlic mash 

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 15 minutes 

serves 4


  • 1 large potato or 2 medium ones
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 100 gr to 3.5 oz mozzarella
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup of milk
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut them up in chunks. Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half. Place in boiling water with salt and boil for 10-15 minutes or until soft.

Drain the potatoes and garlic, tear the mozzarella and add some salt and pepper.


Mix the mash, taste with more salt and white pepper if necessary and only add the milk in small batches. The mozzarella will give the mash that very cheesy texture.


I served the mash with the ragu. I realize that cutting the meat in different sizes might have been a bit over the top but I liked it and I will do it again. It was a great Valentines meal with a gentle but very comforting flavor.


I have added this to Angie, host of the blog The Novice Gardener‘s blog party Food Fiesta Friday. it might not be the most romantic Valentines meal but it was it was pure comfort and love.

13 Responses to “Three meat ragu and cheesy mash for Valentines day”
  1. Petra, did you link your photo, hon? I didn’t see it. If you go to my Fiesta Friday #3 post, you’ll see a button (pineapple flower) that you can click. It’ll bring you to a page where you can upload a photo. This looks so yum, by the way. Comfort food written all over it. XOXO

  2. Corina says:

    I love the fact you’ve added some chorizo to this – I always think it adds so much flavour. I love it.

  3. Hope your extra efforts were very appreciated! Looks great!

  4. ediblethings says:

    A fitting meal at any time! I love the different textured meat thing too, and often do it to stews. It has the added benefit of knowing what the fat to meat content is too. I guess these days there is the even more added benefit of really knowing what is in your food, after the horse meat scandals. But then, when you have a good butcher, that is much less of a worry.

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Mel

      after having just moved I must admit I am MISSING my fab butcher! Instead there are some great fishmongers around so much more fish, still missing my butcher! 🙂

      • ediblethings says:

        Shame. I hope that you find a good one soon.
        Hope the move went well, in general though, and you have settled well into your new home

        • petra08 says:

          hi Mel

          Thank you 🙂 We are liking it here and am sure we will settle in! We are re building the kitchen and after that I am sure I will never want to move! 🙂

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