Beef Ragu

There is nothing quite like a homemade, slow cooked beef ragu. It’s the recipe I love making when I’ve got a little bit of time up my sleeve. It blips away on the stove while I potter around the house and what I’m left with is the most luscious, delicious meal that requires very little effort to prepare. Once the steak and vegetables are cut, they are simmered together in one pan (yes to minimal clean up!) and you’re left with fork-tender beef in a rich tomato sauce that is an absolute slice of heaven when paired with a chunky pasta like rigatoni. This recipe serves between 4-6 people. I often freeze half the sauce, ready for a rainy day, making this an economical family meal perfect for any night of the week. 

Can I leave the red wine out of beef ragu?

Yes. Simply substitute the red wine with more beef stock.

What can I use instead of chuck steak?

Any slow-cook cut of beef is suitable for this recipe. Gravy beef or oyster blade steak are suitable substitutes.

My beef is still tough, what do I do?

Keep cooking! 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 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 slow-cook beef like 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 as needed.

Can you make Beef Ragu ahead of time?

Yes, you can refrigerate Beef Ragu 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.

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Beef Ragu

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 10 reviews

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

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 800 g – 1 kg beef chuck steak, cut into roughly 2 cm or  ¾” cubes (see note 1 for substitutes)
  • ½ cup (118 ml) red wine
  • ½ cup (127 g) tomato paste
  • 700 g (24 fl oz) passata
  • 2 cups (474 ml) beef stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pasta, to serve (rigatoni pictured)
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a heavy-based, deep pan 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 simmer.
  5. Cover, 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.

Notes

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 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

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.

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, beef ragu, Slow Cooked Beef Ragu
  • Method: slow cook
  • Cuisine: Italian