Rich and hearty, a sumptuous ragu is just the thing to warm and fill an empty stomach, especially on cold, bleak days. We bring you our version of this Italian comfort food, to be served with any pasta of your choice and enjoyed with a glass (or more) of wine. The best thing about ragu is that it can be made ahead of time and kept frozen for up to 3 months – great for busy people and big families!
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
COOK TIME: 2.25 Minutes
- 1 kg beef chuck steak, cut into 3cm cubes
- 4 tbsps olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 800 g canned diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook in batches for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally until browned. Transfer beef to a bowl.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. In the same pan, saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery for 4-5 minutes, until onion has softened.
- Add thyme, rosemary, bay, sage. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes, until caramelised.
- Return beef to pan and stir to incorporate. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, around 6-7 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, beef stock and 1 cup cold water. Stir and cover.
- Turn heat up to high. Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Cook, covered for around 2 hours, until beef is tender.
- Uncover during last 20 minutes for sauce to reduce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat. Serve with pasta as is, or alternatively, remove beef and shred. Pour sauce over pasta and add shredded beef.
When making ragu ahead of time, let ragu cool after removing from heat. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold. Cover and chill, or prolong lifespan by putting it in the freezer. If you have any handy variations for ragu, let us know in the comments section!