Jacket Potatoes with Beef and Mushroom Ragu

, from Issue #42. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Jacket Potatoes with Beef and Mushroom Ragu

Baked potatoes with a fluffy interior and crispy skin, topped with sour cream and horseradish have long been a favourite, but serving them topped with a ragu makes for an easy and family friendly meal. For a vegetarian option, use the red bean stew from the Huevos rancheros recipe.

Serves: 6


6 large Agria potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup rock salt, optional

2 tablespoons olive oil
400 grams large flat mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
600 grams beef mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
2 cups beef stock

To serve
sour cream
chopped flat-leaf parsley
salad greens for serving


Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Prick the potatoes with a fork and lightly rub the skins with olive oil. If using the rock salt, scatter over a baking tray and place the potatoes on top. Cooking the potatoes on rock salt adds flavour. Cook for 1 hour until tender and easily pierced with a skewer.

Ragu: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the mushrooms over a high heat until cooked and lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. If necessary, add a little more oil to the pan and cook the onion and carrot with a good pinch of salt until tender. Increase the heat and add the beef, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Cook for 5 minutes then stir in the tomato paste, soy, garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef stock and the cooked mushrooms to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced and thick. Add the parsley just before serving.

To serve: Brush any remaining rock salt from the bottom of each potato before serving. Cut a cross in the top of each potato and gently squeeze the sides to open. Top with the ragu, a dollop of sour cream and serve with a salad.