Even in the summer, I like to eat hearty stews, ragoûts, casseroles, and generally filling dishes of meats and vegetables cooked together. But fall and winter invite these dishes onto our plates, into our freezers, into our bellies.
Now that grad school has started back up and I’m spending more of my time doing things like trying to understand baffling biostatistics software, I’m also enticed to make the kind of dishes I can stick in the fridge and eat for lunch all week. This dish fit the bill. It’s easy to assemble, it makes the house smell good, it’s filling, and it’s good for you.
The dish is based around grass-fed ground beef and fresh cauliflower, two cheap and healthy foods that get better cooked slowly with other flavors. You can vary the recipe up. I made it grain-free, but it would taste good with brown rice. You can add other vegetables, like broccoli or mushrooms.
Cauliflower Ragoût with Beef, Tomato Sauce and Parmesan
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pint tomato sauce
- 1 large onion
- 1 small head garlic, or half a large head
- greens, especially Italian kale or collards
- parmesan cheese to taste/cover
- a pinch of saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F
1. In a casserole dish that can go both in the oven and on the stove, cook chopped onion in fat — I combined olive oil and beef tallow. Add some salt.
2. When the onion is soft, clear and browned, add garlic and beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Brown the beef.
3. Pour in tomato sauce and crumbled saffron, and stir. Add cauliflower, chopped up, and stir until it’s covered with sauce. Stir in any greens.
4. Grate or slice parmesan onto the top. Drizzle some olive oil over it, and grate on some black pepper.
5. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until the cauliflower is melted-soft.