Ragu with Lemon and Chilli

Ragu is short hand for well-seasoned mince in my house and in this case heading towards a lemony chilli con carne, flavoured as it is with chilli, lemon zest and juice, aniseedy caraway and garlic. I added leftover haricot white beans (lovely Spanish Navarrico in 800g jars with delicious bean stock that shouldn’t be wasted) and plan to serve it with cous cous rather than rice.

Serves 4
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 60 min

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
400g minced beef
½ tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 lemon
1 dsp flour
100ml white wine
100ml chicken stock
400g haricot white beans
25g flat leaf parsley

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Start the cooking in a spacious sauté/frying pan over a medium-low heat and stir onion and garlic into 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook gently, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until wilted and almost cooked. Crumble the meat over the top and quickly crush the caraway seeds to release their aroma. Stir caraway and chilli into the meat, stirring until the meat is nicely browned. Sift the flour over the top and stir until disappeared. Add the white wine and let it bubble up and away. Add the stock and microplane zest the lemon over the top. Transfer the contents of the pan to a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper and lemon juice – you will want at least 1 tbsp, continuing to simmer for 30 minutes over a low heat. Add the beans – drained and rinsed if from a can – and heat through. Just before serving, chop the parsley leaves and stir into the ‘ragu’.