My culinary philosophy is to start with the best quality ingredients and do as little to them as possible so as not to mess them up. Recently, I assisted with cooking classes in the heart of Tuscany, where there is immense focus on the quality of the ingredients. The region is known for food with straightforward flavors like this Beef Ragu Crostone, inspired by the famed Italian butcher and restaurateur Dario Cecchini.
Cecchini’s original dish is unbelievably good, incredibly complex in ingredients, technique and taste. For this easy weeknight version, I mimic the richness in his curated beef blend by using umami-rich grass-fed beef and a glug of Worcestershire. To achieve more layered nuances, each step is cooked in the pan to almost dry, concentrating and intensifying the flavors along the way. The result is a quick Italian-inspired, supper-worthy sloppy Joe. Now all you need is an insalata mista and a nice Chianti.
Beef Ragu Crostone
Crostini are small pieces of toasted or fried bread, usually served with a topping as an appetizer. Since the pieces of bread in this recipe are more substantial, they are called crostone. The larger pieces of bread better soak up the sauce in this easy, but elevated, sloppy Joes.
If you have it on hand, substitute beef broth for the water to make a more deeply flavored sauce.
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