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Slow Cooked Shredded Beef Ragu Pasta

Ragu is one of those recipes that really showcases the beauty of Italian cooking - everyday ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Beef, Italian, Mediterranean, pasta
Servings 5 People
Calories 678 kcal



  • ▢ 1.2kg / 2.5 lb chuck beef or other slow cooking beef cut cut into equal 4 pieces (Note 1)
  • ▢ 1 tbsp salt
  • ▢ Black pepper
  • ▢ 3 tbsp olive oil separated
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ▢ 1 onion diced
  • ▢ 1 cup carrots diced (Note 2)
  • ▢ 1 cup celery diced (Note 2)
  • ▢ 800g / 28oz crushed canned tomatoes
  • ▢ 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • ▢ 2 beef bouillon cubes crumbled (Note 3)
  • ▢ 1 cup / 250ml red wine full bodied (like merlot, cabernet sauvignon), or sub with beef broth/stock
  • ▢ 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml water Note 3
  • ▢ 3/4 tsp dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ▢ 3 dried bay leaves


  • 1 lb /500g dried pappardelle or other pasta of choice (Note 4)
  • ▢ Freshly grated parmesan cheese or parmigiano reggiano
  • ▢ Fresh parsley finely chopped (optional)


  • Pat beef dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Sear Beef: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over high heat in a heavy based pot. Add beef and sear each piece aggressively on all sides until very browned (3 - 5 minutes in total), then remove onto a plate.
  • Turn stove down to medium low and add remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Soffrito: Add garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the carrots and celery and sauté slowly for 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining Ragu ingredients and return the beef to the pot (including pooled juices). Turn the stove up and bring it to a simmer, then turn it down to low so it's bubbling very very gently. (Note 7)
  • Slow cook: Cover the pot and let it cook for 2 hours or until beef is tender enough to shred. (Note 5 for slow cooker and pressure cooker).
  • Shred: Remove beef then coarsely shred with 2 forks. Return beef to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes until sauce is reduced and thickened - beef will soften slightly more during this step.
  • Final season: Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning to your taste with salt and pepper. ALSO, add 1/2 tsp sugar if sauce is a bit sour for your taste (Note 6). Place the lid on and set aside until ready to serve (it's even better the next day and freezes well for months!).


  • Bring a very large pot of water with 1 tbsp of salt to the boil.
  • Add pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the recommended cooking time as per the packet instructions.
  • Meanwhile, place 5 cups of the Ragu in a very large fry pan, dutch oven or use 2 normal size fry pans. Heat over high heat while the pasta is cooking.
  • When the pasta is ready, transfer it directly from the pot into the fry pan using tongs.
  • Add 3/4 cup of pasta water into the fry pan.
  • Gently toss the pasta (I use 2 wooden spoons) for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce water evaporates and leaves you with a thick Ragu sauce that coats the pasta.
  • Yell for your family to sit down at the dinner table because you need to serve it immediately!
  • Serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan, or even better, with parmigiano reggiano.


This recipe is sponsored by Mediterranean Supermarket 
Keyword beef, beef dish, beef recipes, italian, italian dish, mediterranean, pasta