This braised beef ragu recipe is amazing served with creamy polenta or fresh pasta. The beef is slow cooked in the oven until it can be shredded and coated in the rich tomato and red wine sauce.
Comfort food because we all need a bit of comfort right now.
Admittedly it feels a little odd to be sharing such hearty comfort food when I’ve got the window open for the first time this year and the sun is steaming in but I am very much of the opinion that comfort food is a year round event.
Whatever the weather I rely heavily on food to make me feel better when I’m having a down day and a rich ragu with creamy polenta could not be more comforting.
The slow cooked beef gets super tender and is shredded right in the sauce which is a mixture of beef stock, tomatoes and red wine and flavoured with thyme and bay leaves.
I served this over creamy cheesy polenta but you could have it with pasta or gnocchi if you prefer.
Why we love this braised beef ragu…
It’s complete comfort food thanks to the slow cooked shredded beef, rich tomato sauce and potential serving options like polenta and pasta!
Although it takes a while to make it’s mostly hand off as it cooks in the oven for 3 hours.
I didn’t include any extra vegetables in the recipe but you could definitely stir through some spinach or kale before serving.
This recipe is so easy to make but is so impressive that anyone you serve it to will think you’ve been slaving over it for hours!
Rustic Ragu Ingredients
Beef: I used chunks of stewing beef but any cut which is suitable for slow cooking like shin will work. It just needs to be cut into pieces.
Vegetables: Onion, carrot and garlic are all fried until softened.
Liquids: Red wine, chopped tomatoes and beef stock make up the liquids in this ragu. If you don’t cook with wine then you can replace it with more stock.
Herbs: Dried bay leaves and thyme sprigs are cooked in the sauce.
How to make rich pulled beef bolognese sauce…
Brown the beef: Heat the oil over a medium high heat and brown the beef all over then place in a colander to drain.
Fry the veggies: Add more oil and tip in the chopped onion, carrot and garlic then cook until softened.
Add the liquids and cook: Pour in the liquids, add the herbs and return the beef to the pot. Put the ragu in the oven and cook for 2 and half hours then remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
Equipment you need to make this recipe…
Want more? Try these other beef recipes!
- One Pot Lasagne for Busy Weeknights
- Easy Chipotle Chilli Beef Enchiladas
- Homemade Classic Beef Lasagne
- Cheesy Baked Meatball Sandwiches
- Moroccan Meatball Flatbreads with Aioli
- Classic Beef Chilli Con Carne
- Beer Braised Brisket
Braised Beef Ragu with Rich Tomato Sauce
- 400 g Stewing Beef
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 2 Carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 200 ml Red Wine
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 250 ml Beef Stock
- Parmesan to serve
- Polenta to serve
- Heat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Season the beef with salt and pepper, heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium high heat in an oven safe pot and brown the beef all over. Drain the beef in a colander to remove the fat.
- Wipe out the pot with kitchen roll then add another tablespoon of oil and the onion, carrot and garlic. Season well and cook over a low heat until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and stir to coat then pour in the wine, thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes and stock. Season again then add the beef back to the pot. Cover and put in the oven for 2 and a half hours checking occasionally to make sure it's not getting too dry. Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has finished you should be able to shred the beef with forks. Shred and serve over polenta or pasta.
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