Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

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Beef Ragu

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

There is nothing quite like a homemade, Slow Cooked Beef Ragu. One pan does all the hard work, simmering the beef and tomato until it’s so tender that it falls apart with the touch of a fork. The preparation is simple, but the result is a perfect hearty sauce piled over a bed of pasta or served with a crusty piece of bread. This comforting dish can be made ahead of time, making it the perfect family dinner for busy weeknights or relaxed weekends. 

  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 800g – 1kg beef chuck steak, cut into roughly 2cm x 2cm cubes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 700g passata
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pasta to serve (rigatoni pictured)
  • Parmesan cheese to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a heavy-based, deep skillet with a lid.
  2. Add the onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  3. Turn the heat to high, add the beef chuck steak and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes until sealed.
  4. Add the red wine, tomato paste, passata, beef stock, salt, pepper, dried thyme and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil.
  5. Place lid on, reduce to lowest heat setting and cook 2.5 hours or until beef is tender enough to be easily shredded with two forks (see note 1). 
  6. Shred beef with two forks and serve with your favourite pasta and parmesan cheese.


Note 1 – If the beef is still tough after 2.5 hours of cooking, it needs to cook for longer. Make sure the sauce is still bubbling very gently (you should still be able to see bubbles appearing in the sauce, if not, the heat is too low and the beef will take a lot longer to cook). The beauty of chuck steak is that it is almost impossible to overcook – The longer it cooks, the more it will soften and break down into the sauce. Continue cooking in 30 minute intervals, if the sauce seems to be too thick and sticking to the base of the pan,  add 1/2 cup of water.  

MAKE AHEAD AND LEFTOVERS – Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely overnight in the fridge to reheat. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.


  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: slow cook
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: beef ragu recipe, the best beef ragu, easy beef ragu

Leave a Reply


  1. crystal.ardern

    This looks so good! very keen to try. Would rump steak work ok, or better to track down the chuck? Also, I have fresh thyme in my garden – would you recommend? THANK YOU!!

  2. simonenielsen81

    Made this in my pressure cooker tonight. Delicious! Added to my list to make again.

  3. carriecoull

    Hi Nic,
    Please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong! 2nd time cooking this meal for dinner. My meat keeps turning out tough 🙁

    I’ve slow cooked a handful of times before with other recipes and the meat has always just fallen apart! My family is absolutely hooked on your slow cooked lamb shoulder by the way!

    Back to this dinner, I’m following the recipe instructions so don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. Any advice? Do I just keep simmering away hoping it will become tender or will that over cook it?

    Thank you x

    Thank you

    • Nicole

      Oh no! Tough meat is definitely not what we are after! I’m so sorry to hear that! ❤️ The answer is to definitely keep simmering and cooking. I’m so glad you have messaged because I will add additional notes to the recipe. Gravy, chuck, oyster blade or any other slow cook casserole-style beef cut will continue to break down and the longer it cooks, it will sooner disintegrate before it overcooks… so the good news is there is definitely no risk in over cooking and it becoming tough. 2.5 hours is generally enough time, but depending on how long the beef has been seared initially/the size of the pieces and the heat of the stove, it might need up to 30 minutes longer (or as long as it takes to soften). The only risk is the sauce reducing too much, in which case 1/2 cup of water every 30 minutes after the 2.5 hour mark will do the trick. I hope that makes sense and I do hope you try it again because it is outrageously tasty once it softens! Let me know how you go if you try. x

  4. Hannah

    Sounds so good! I’m going to try this tonight in the slow cooker! Would you suggest to just sear the meat and then throw everything in?
    Can’t wait!

    • Nicole

      I’d love to hear how this turned out! 😍 Such a great idea popping it into the slow cooker! I would definitely sear the beef for maximum flavour and would probably follow the recipe up until step 3. At this point I would add the red wine and let that cook out and reduce by half and then I would transfer to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients. It would need at least 8 hours on low in the slow cooker. I’ll definitely be giving it a go myself! Nic x

  5. Anne

    Simply yummy!!! Next time I think I’ll try it with some mushrooms!

    • Nicole

      Ohh YES that sounds so delicious! Thank you so much x

  6. Shenae

    My goodness, this was delicious!! I actually just popped it all into my slow cooker for 6 hrs and wowsers, a perfect, stress free, family dinner! My 2yo even loved it!
    Can’t wait to start making more x

    • Nicole

      Oh wow – Delicious! I am so glad it got the tick of approval, especially from your little one! Fantastic idea popping it in the slow cooker. Thank you so much for trying the recipe and taking the time to comment! x

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