Beef Rolls in Tomato Ragù

This is traditionally made every Sunday in all regions of southern Italy. The tomato sauce is used to flavor pasta for the primo (pasta course) and the meat is eaten as a secondo (main course).

Serves:  4 - 6
  • 12 small thin sirloin steaks (boneless)
  • ½ cup (2oz) Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (½oz) Kerrygold Salted Butter
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 cups (¾ pint) chicken stock (from a stock cube is fine)
  • 3 ½ cups (1 ¾lb) canned chopped tomatoes
  • handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • buttered tagliatelle or large rigatoni and mixed salad leaves, to serve

Arrange the steaks on a chopping board and flatten them with a meat mallet (if you don’t have one, put a piece of parchment paper over the meat and flatten it with a rolling pin). Season and then sprinkle over the cheese, garlic and parsley. Roll each slice up and secure with cocktail sticks or small bamboo skewers.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan. When it is hot, reduce the heat and add the beef rolls, then sear well on all sides. Add the butter and baste in the juices, then transfer the beef rolls to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan with the celery and sauté for about 5 minutes until well softened. Pour in the chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any sediment, then simmer until reduced by half, stirring to combine. Continue to cook until all of the liquid has nearly absorbed, then stir in the tomato purée with the canned tomatoes. Return the beef rolls to the pan, then season and stir in the basil.

Reduce the heat, cover partially with a lid so that some of the steam can escape. Cook gently for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced, and the beef rolls are completely tender. Season to taste.

Transfer the beef rolls to an ovenproof dish and spoon over some of the sauce. Keep warm. Fold the rest of the tomato sauce into the buttered pasta and serve as a first course, then serve the beef divided among warmed plates with a separate bowl of salad.