Braised Beef Ragu Recipe

white plate with pasta and beef and side of sliced bread

Dinner | January 7, 2018 | By

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

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. But when your local grocery store has BOGO (buy 1, get 1) chuck roast, make Pot Roast or this 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.

pappardelle pasta with braised beef ragu

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

Braised Beef Ragu makes a great kick back Sunday meal. Just minutes to prep and 100% comfort. white plae with beef ragu blended with pappardelle  pasta.

This recipe takes an inexpensive cut of meat and transforms it into a delicious, elevated dish. It easily feeds a crowd but leftover sauce freezes well, too. 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

How to make Braised Beef Ragu:

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 then transfer to a plate

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

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

Pour in the wine scraping the brown bits from the bottom then 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 then cover and bake at 325° for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Stir at the 1 hour point then 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 then 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.

 

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 then 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.

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. 

 

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!

plate of pappardelle blended with beef ragu topped with parmesan cheese

If you tried this Braised Beef Ragu recipe or another Italian classic, Three Cheese Baked Mostaccioli, then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!  

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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.
PIN for later!
Print Recipe
CourseMain Course
CuisineItalian
Servings4

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

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve with the extra sauce, fresh bread and parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts
Braised Beef Ragu
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A 0IU0%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 0mg0%
Iron 0mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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

  2. Leave a Reply

    Terri Horner
    March 9, 2019

    I have been looking for a recipe like this ever since my grandma passed away, that she got from an old Italian man , Pappy Joe! But she used salt pork in it somehow. And these big flat rigatoni noodles. I’m going to try to recreate it, and this sounds like an excellent beginning! Ty!

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      March 12, 2019

      Thank you Terri! I hope this recipe is a good jumping point for your grandma’s (and Pappy Joe’s!) recipe. I see any recipe as a place to start and make it your own. I’d love to hear how your Beef Ragu turned out and whether it brought back memories of your grandma’s. 🙂

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