Braised Beef Ragu Recipe

braised beef ragu over pappardelle pasta sprinkled lightly with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley

Dinner | January 7, 2018 | By

Braised Beef Ragu recipe ~ slow cooked tender shredded beef in a rich tomato sauce blended with pappardelle pasta and topped with fresh parmesan cheese. A delicious Sunday Supper comfort meal. 

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When your local grocery store has BOGO (buy 1, get 1) chuck roast, make Pot Roast or Braised Beef Ragu ~ slow cooked tender beef in a robust tomato sauce. Serve it blended with pappardelle egg noodles and extra parmesan. It’s Sunday and we’re bringing it all to the table.

Close up of pappardelle pasta with braised beef ragu

I usually cook for the seasons, like Salisbury Steak with mushroom-onion gravy, Potato Salad with crispy bacon in the summer or Honey Balsamic Pork Tenderloin all year ’round. The pork recipe goes stove to table in just 20 minutes and is one of the most popular recipes on the blog. 

This Braised Beef Ragu recipe makes a great kick back Sunday meal that takes just minutes to get into the oven. It’s one of my favorite 100% comfort recipes. Plate of Braised Beef Ragu and pappardelle egg pasta.

I love how this Braised Beef Ragu recipe takes an inexpensive cut of meat and transforms it into an elevated dish infused with amazing flavor. It easily feeds a crowd but leftover sauce freezes well if you don’t have one. braised beef ragu over pappardelle pasta, a light sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley served with slices of italian bread

Braised Beef Ragu Recipe Ingredients:

  • beef chuck roast 
  • Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • olive oil
  • butter 
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh sage
  • red wine
  • crushed tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • beef stock
  • Brown sugar**
  • Italian parsley
  • pappardelle pasta
  • parmesan cheese

TIP: Bringing the beef to room temperature is recommended, but if it’s not room temp when you start, that’s still okay; it just may take a little longer to cook.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut the beef into 4 pieces, pat it dry with paper towels, then generously season it on all sides with salt and pepper. I used a good tablespoon of salt to cover all the pieces.

Add the olive oil and a tablespoon of butter to a Dutch oven or large, oven-safe pot over medium high heat. Add the beef searing on all sides and ends then transfer the beef to a plate.seared beef for braised beef ragu

Tip: It’s important to give the meat time to sear because it adds a valuable level of flavor to both the meat and the sauce.

Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary and sage. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sauté 5 minutes then add the tomato paste and continue cooking 2 more minutes until you can smell the tomato paste.celery, carrots, onions and herbs sauteing for braised beef ragu

Tip: Cook to the descriptions, not strictly time.

Pour in the wine scraping the bottom to get all the brown bits off and cook 8 minutes on medium heat. After the wine reduces, fold in the crushed tomatoes and beef stock.

Return the beef and their juices to pot, turning them over in the sauce. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring at the 1 hour point. Check for doneness at 2 hours. You want the beef to be able to shred easily, but not mushy. 

Remove the pot from the oven and take the beef out of the pot for shredding. Remove the carrots, celery and herbs then continue cooking the sauce on the stovetop 15 more minutes uncovered so the sauce reduces. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper.

** Some canned tomatoes aren’t as sweet as others. If your sauce isn’t as sweet as you’d like, add brown sugar ½ teaspoon at a time, combining thoroughly and tasting after each ½ teaspoon.

shredded beef in braised beef ragu sauce

Using 2 forks shred the beef (I like to leave about 1/3 of it in a bit larger pieces) then add it to the sauce along with the remaining butter and parsley.

Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than package directions and fold ⅓ cup of the pasta water into the sauce cooking 5 minutes over medium heat.

Tip: Add the pasta ‘nests’ to the water whole; they’ll separate as they cook.pappardelle pasta nest for braised beef ragu

Remove about 2 cups of the sauce then add the pasta directly into the remaining sauce in the pot, tossing gently and cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes. 

Adding pasta directly from the cooking pot into the braised beef ragu

Serve right away with extra sauce, fresh bread or a salad and parmesan cheese.tender braised beef in rich tomato sauce ~ slow cooked braised beef ragu

Enjoy!

If you make this Braised Beef Ragu recipe or another Italian classic, Three Cheese Baked Mostaccioli, leave me a comment~ I’d love to hear from you. I always appreciate a comment or star rating as well. 

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braised beef ragu ~ pin for pinterest ~ close up of shredded beef in tomato sauce blended with pappardelle and topped with grated parmesan cheese.

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Plate of Braised Beef Ragu and pappardelle egg pasta.
Braised Beef Ragu

Slow cooked, beef ragu in a robust tomato sauce. Great Sunday Supper. Serve with pasta, red wine and bakery bread.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ pound beef chuck roast if your roast is larger, cooking time will increase ~ don’t rush it!
  • Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 celery stalk cut in thirds
  • 1 carrot cut in thirds
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 1 ½ cups red wine chianti or cabernet are good, but not sweet red
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • Brown sugar**
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring the beef to room temperature then cut it into 4 pieces. Pat it dry with paper towels, then generously season it on all sides with salt and pepper (I used a good tablespoon of salt).

  2. Add the olive oil and a tablespoon of butter to a Dutch oven or large, oven-safe pot over medium high heat and once it’s hot, add the beef searing on all sides and ends then transfer the beef to a plate.

  3. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary and sage. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute 5 minutes then add the tomato paste and continue cooking 2 more minutes.

  4. Pour in the wine scraping the bottom to get all the brown bits off and cook 8 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally or until the wine starts to reduce, then fold in the crushed tomatoes and beef stock.

  5. Return beef and their juices to pot, turning them over in the sauce then cover bake at 325 degrees for 2 – 2/12 hours, stirring at the 1 hour point and checking for doneness at 2 hours. You want the beef to be able to shred easily, but before it becomes mushy.

  6. Remove the pot from the oven and take the beef out of the pot for shredding. Remove the carrots, celery and herbs then continue cooking the sauce 15 more minutes (stovetop) uncovered allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken more while you shred the beef.

  7. Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper.

    NOTE: Some canned tomatoes aren’t as sweet as others. If your sauce isn’t as sweet as you’d like, add brown sugar ½ teaspoon at a time, combining thoroughly and tasting after each ½ teaspoon.

  8. Using 2 forks shred the beef (I like to leave about 1/3 of it in a bit larger pieces) then add the shredded beef to the sauce along with the other tablespoon of butter and chopped parsley.

  9. Meanwhile, cook the pasta 2 minutes less than package directions and fold ⅓ cup of pasta water into the sauce and cook 5 minutes over medium heat.

    Note: Add the pasta ‘nests’ to the water whole; they’ll separate as they cook.

  10. Remove about 2 cups of the sauce then add the pasta directly into the remaining sauce in the pot, tossing gently and cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes.

  11. Serve with the extra sauce, fresh bread and parmesan cheese.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Mary
    January 9, 2018

    Happy 2018!! Goodness gracious, this sounds so darn delicious. Just reading this post makes my tummy feel good. I can almost smell the roast cooking and getting all scrumptious. Pinned. Making soon. Chat later my friend. Have a good week.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      January 10, 2018

      Hi there Mary ~ Happy 2018 to you too! It sure is a comfort meal! Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to write them. Have a good week, friend. More later 🙂

      • Leave a Reply

        Cristi
        September 19, 2018

        Absolutely delicious! Kids hated the parsley, hubby and I couldn’t stop eating :)!

        • Leave a Reply

          Bernie
          September 19, 2018

          Hi Cristi –

          This makes my day! This is one of my favorite recipes – I’m actually excited for cooler temps so I can make it again soon — and I totally get that you couldn’t stop eating it ~ we’re the same. Thanks for taking the time to write. Enjoy the day – Bernie

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