Do you know Neapolitan ragù? No.
Okay, then let me tell you that this stew is just a delight for the palate.
And that it's going to be one of those dishes that you're going to add to your table regularly.
It is a Bolognese ragù, isn't it?
Well, no, it's not. The two dishes are actually quite different. Even if both are served with pasta.
One of the major differences is that the Neapolitan ragù uses whole pieces of meat. The soffrito; that mixture of carrot, onion, celery; is also absent from the recipe.
Slow-cooked shredded beef ragù
This title is a good definition of what Neapolitan ragù is.
I really like the texture of the meat in this dish. Texture that you don't find in the other great Italian ragù. The ragù alla Bolognese. The shredded meat really makes all the difference. The way it mixes with the sauce sticks to the pasta... just writing it down makes my mouth watering.
Shredded meat, okay, but which one?
As is often the case in cooking and even more so with traditional dishes, there is not a recipe but recipes. Indeed, each town, village, family has appropriated the recipe and all have added this or that ingredient.
Personally, I use two meats. Beef and pork. And in both cases, the so-called "low" cuts less noble than the prime rib.
For the beef, you should use the chuck, the pot roast twin or the pot roast scoter. For pork, prefer the breast or ribs.
But it is long to prepare!
Then, I would tend to answer no and yes.
No, because the preparation itself is quick, about twenty minutes. Yes, because the cooking is slow and takes several hours. But you don't really need to stand aside while the ragù is simmering. To sublimate its taste, I tend to prepare it the day before. That way the flavors blend even more!
A bit of history
Neapolitan ragù is a dish that arrived during the French occupation of southern Italy in the 18th century. It is derived from the Provençal style stew. It is a way of saying that cooking is still a story of sharing and that it brings people together. And as its name suggests, it is typical of Naples and its surroundings.
As for the tomato, it was not introduced into the dish until around 1850. But it has become, unavoidable.
What pasta to eat with ?
Homemade pasta! Or if you don't have ziti lunghi, rigatoni, tortiglioni, pappardelle, maccheroni or paccheri. If you can, buy non-industrial pasta, it's rougher and the sauce will stick better on it.
And how do you eat this Neapolitan ragù?
Italian style, you start with a nice pasta starter with the sauce of the ragù. Then you serve the shredded meat as a main course with seasonal vegetables.
Or Badly Yummy style, you fray the meat in the sauce and sauté your pasta with this generous sauce. And you serve with pecorino romano.
You can also use ragù to make Neapolitan lasagna.
In any case, your reward will be worth the patience you have had waiting for hours for the ragù to cook gently.