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Braised Beef Ragu

This Beef Ragu is tender, rich, flavourful and SO delicious!  The beef is slow cooked with tomatoes, minced vegetables, wine and stock. Serve over fresh pappardelle pasta.

Ingredients

Units Scale

Beef:

  • 2.5 lb boneless beef chuck (see notes), cut into baseball sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil

Soffritto:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 sticks)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine (see notes)
  • 2 bay leaves

Pasta:

  • 1 lb pappardelle pasta
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Browning the beef:

  1. Pat the beef roast dry with paper towel, then cut it into baseball sized pieces.
  2. Season each piece generously with the salt and pepper, on each side.
  3. Add 2 tbsp oil to a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Carefully add the pieces of beef to the oil (it will spit so wear an apron). Sear each side of the beef for about 2 minutes…the beef should be nicely browned.
  5. Transfer the beef from the pan to a plate and set aside for now.

Making the soffritto:

  1. Use the same pan to make the soffritto as you used to brown the meat.
  2. Turn the heat down to low-medium.
  3. Add 2 tbsp oil.
  4. Add the minced garlic, onions, carrots and celery.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Make sure to stir/scrape up all the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan as they add a lot of delicious flavour.
  6. Stir in the dried thyme and cook for about 1 minute.

Making the ragu:

  1. Now add the stock to the pan and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and bay leaves). Mix well.
  3. Add the seared beef, and stir the mixture to coat the beef.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure the bottom isn’t burning. When the beef is ready, it should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork.
  5. NOTE: the sauce should be lightly simmering, NOT boiling.
  6. NOTE: about halfway through the cooking time, turn the beef over and make sure it’s covered in the sauce.
  7. After this cooking time, remove the beef and shred it with a fork. Discard any chunks of fat.
  8. At this time, if you notice any fat in the sauce, use a spoon to skim it off.
  9. Return the beef to the sauce, stir and simmer for about 30 minutes more. At this point, if you feel that the sauce needs it, feel free to season it with more salt and pepper.

Putting it all together:

  1. Cook the pasta in a heavily salted pot of water, according to package instructions, BUT COOK IT for about 1 minute less than stated.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, get the sauce ready to receive the noodles. To do this, make sure the sauce is in a pan large enough to hold both the sauce and the noodles.
  3. Bring the sauce up to serving temperature.
  4. Once the noodles are ready, transfer them over to the pan with the ragu, and add 1 cup of the pasta water.
  5. Gently mix and toss until the sauce thickens and the noodles are coated.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Enjoy!

Keywords: beef ragu