Beef ragù with chickpeas and chard

February 26, 2010


Invented when I had to find use for leftover celeriac and chard leaves, this turned out to be a tremendously delicious dish. This ragù is excellent as a pasta sauce or served on top of plain white rice or mashed potatoes.


Serves: 8




  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 1 large celeriac, both root and stalks, diced and chopped respectively

  • 1kg minced beef

  • 300g chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained

  • 5 garlic cloved, chopped

  • a bunch of chard leaves, ribs chopped and leaves torn

  • olive oil

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground

  • 1 tbsp black pepper seeds, ground

  • a pinch of nutmeg, ground

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 medium dry chili pepper, crumbled

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • salt




  • In a large sautage, heat a few good lugs of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, celeriac, celery and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have become transparent and soft, then add the cumin seeds.

  • Add the beef, stir well and make sure the meat has turned completely brown.

  • Add the chickpeas, ground coriander, pepper, nutmeg, salt to taste, the crumbled chili pepper, bay leaves and stir well. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar and stir again, then add water to cover.

  • Move to low heat and simmer for 4-5 hours, until the chickpeas have become very tender.

  • When the chickpeas have become tender, add the chard ribs, cook for 5 minutes, then add the chard leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until the bitterness is gone.

  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese and a few sprinkles of balsamic vinegar.

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