Braised Beef Ragu with Rich Tomato Sauce

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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.

Blue bowl of braised beef ragu on a marble background

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. 

Bowls of polenta topped with rich beef ragout on a marble surface

Close up of braised beef stew

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!

Overhead shot of slow cooked beef on polenta

Two bowls of ragu on a marble background

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.

Tomato Puree

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.


Overhead shot of a blue bowl of polenta and ragu on a marble background

Overhead close up of braised beef stew on polenta

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…


Overhead shot of beef bolognese sauce on polenta

Blue bowl of braised beef ragu

Want more? Try these other beef recipes!

Overhead shot of a blue bowl of polenta and ragu on a marble background

Braised Beef Ragu with Rich Tomato Sauce

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.
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Amy Fulwood


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Braised Beef Ragu with Rich Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 294mg12%
Potassium 540mg15%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 5277IU106%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @amycookreport on Instagram and hashtag it #thecookreport!

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  • Reply
    05/04/2020 at 3:46 PM

    5 stars
    This was amazing! Loved the suggestion to serve it over polenta. Would never have thought of doing that!

  • Reply
    05/04/2020 at 4:04 PM

    5 stars
    This recipe came at the perfect time. I have stewing beef to use and wasn’t sure what I would use it for, and now I know!

  • Reply
    Andrea Metlika
    05/04/2020 at 4:10 PM

    5 stars
    I have to say this looks absolutely amazing. Sounds so flavorful and really like that you put it on polenta.

  • Reply
    05/04/2020 at 5:00 PM

    5 stars
    I’m Italian and polenta is a staple in my diet because I’m gluten free. It’s such a versatile and inexpensive meal. Love the ragu’!

  • Reply
    Denay DeGuzman
    05/04/2020 at 7:31 PM

    5 stars
    My husband is crazy about tasty beef ragu! He could happily eat this meal every day of the week. I love how rich, thick and delicious this is. Thank you for sharing this mouthwatering recipe!

  • Reply
    19/07/2020 at 7:04 PM

    5 stars
    Super easy to make and delicious! Rich and tomatoey. I missed out the carrots as didn’t have any, but added a handful of halved black olives before it went in the oven. Was beautiful, served with gnocchi.

    • Reply
      20/07/2020 at 8:23 PM

      Thanks Holly!

  • Reply
    20/04/2021 at 11:29 PM

    5 stars
    I didn’t have a carrot or thyme so subbed the garlic for three cloves of black garlic and used an umami mushroom seasoning and this turned out great as a bit of a riff on this recipe! Thanks for this 🙂

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