Beef Ragu

Beef ragu with ingredients

Recipe for my beef short rib ragu! A weekend activity surpassed by no other. Eat it and weep.


    • ¼ cup (57g) butter
    • ½ cup (120g) extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 onions, roughly chopped
    • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
    • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
    • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 2 tbsp tomato paste (Mutti double concentrate)
    • 400ml full bodied red wine, such as shiraz or cabernet sauvignon
    • 1.2kg - 1.5kg short ribs
    • 700g tomato passata
    • 2L beef stock
    • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 5 sprigs thyme, leaves picked or sprigs tied together with cooking twine
    • Parmesan rind (optional)
    • Pasta, to serve (I recommend pappardelle, rigatoni or casarecce)

    Serves 4-6


    Total cooking time is typically 7+ hours

    1. Heat butter and half the olive oil (¼ cup) in a large pan over medium heat.
    2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Season well with salt and cracked black pepper.
    3. Sauté vegetables until softened and onion is translucent (around 15 minutes).
    4. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until the colour deepens.
    5. Add red wine and simmer until wine is reduced by two thirds.
    6. Pour vegetable mix into a bowl and set aside to cool down slightly.
    7. Once cool, transfer vegetable mix (add the passata if you want to speed this up and cool the mix down) to a blender and blend vegetables until very smooth. You can also use a stick blender.
    8. Meanwhile, in your now empty pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat and fry off short ribs (pre seasoned with salt and pepper) until each side is golden and caramelised (about 2 mins each side).
    9. Turn off the heat, remove beef ribs to a plate and pour out any excess oil.
    10. Add to the pot your vegetable mix, tomato passata, beef stock, chilli flakes (optional), bay leaves, thyme and a Parmesan rind if you have one. Stir until incorporated, then add ribs.
    11. Reduce heat to very low and simmer for 6-8 hours (with lid off or ajar - I go lid off, with a splatter guard over the top), until meat is falling off the bone.
    12. Remove meat to a tray and allow to cool.
    13. While meat is cooling, remove and discard thyme sprigs, Parmesan rind and bay leaves.
    14. Pick meat off bones, removing any fatty or gristly bits, then return meat pieces to the sauce and stir to combine. Taste and season.
    15. When you’re ready to serve, cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
    16. Drain pasta, then add it back to the pot you cooked it in. Spoon in your desired amount of ragu and a knob of butter and bring to a simmer, stirring. If the sauce is too thick, stir in pasta water tbsp by tbsp until the consistency is perfect.

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