Classic beef ragu is a great dish for turning inexpensive beef cuts and pantry staples into a hearty meal. This is best enjoyed with pappardelle as the thick sauce and shredded beef cling to the flat, wide noodles. A good wok is perfect for cooking the ragu low and slow then tossing the pasta in delicious sauce using its sloped sides.
This recipe and the accompanying images are by self-taught cook and baker Chris Li. Follow him on Instagram (@cwisspy) for more inspiring recipes.
This Italian ragu recipe may require time to tenderise the meat and infuse it with flavour. The good thing is it stores well in the freezer. So give this recipe a go, serve some for dinner, then freeze the rest for next day’s lasagne or spag bol.
- Wolstead Superior+ Wok (or any heavy-duty wok with lid)
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Paper towels
- Wooden spoon or kitchen spoon
- Large plate for shredding
- 2kg beef chuck or roast beef
- 1.5 tbsp salt (or to your liking)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cups carrots, finely chopped
- 2 cups celery, finely chopped
- 4 x 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon wine
- 3 cups water
- 6 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 to 4 beef bouillon cubes
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 5 bay leaves
- Brown sugar (optional)
- Cooked pappardelle or any pasta of your choice
- Parsley and parmesan to garnish
- Cut beef into five to six segments. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat in the Wolstead Superior+ Wok. Sear the beef until each side is browned, dark brown if possible.
- Remove beef then add the remaining oil. Sauté garlic and onion followed by carrots and celery for roughly 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except pasta and garnish.
- Reduce heat, cover with the lid, and allow to simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, making sure to stir every 15 minutes. Once beef is tender, remove from the wok and shred using a fork. Return shredded beef to the wok and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken.
- Serve with pappardelle or pasta of your choice. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley.