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I give you Braised Beef Ragu with Fettuccine for when you need a comforting and delicious dish. This slow braised, fall-apart-tender beef is cooked in a rich tomato and veggie sauce served over a bed of al dente fettuccine.
It’s been an extremely cold month, snowing and dreary which always gets me in the mood to cook up some comfort food. What can I say? The cravings take over and off to the kitchen I go and make some comforting dishes.
Which is why I give you this recipe for slowly braised beef ragu fettuccine. Although the meat sauce is braised in the oven over 3 hours, it is relatively easy to prepare. All you really need is patience and a good book.
Remo sometimes complains that I make too many pasta dishes, but to me this kind of pasta dishes are what comfort food is all about. Pasta slathered in rich velvety and meaty sauces, pasta goals, my friends.
Best beef cut
I prefer to use chuck roast, beef shanks, stewing beef or beef brisket for ragu. Although searing the meat first isn’t necessary, I strongly recommend you don’t skip this. Browning the meat first creates a caramelization which will give a rich flavor to the finished ragu. Totally worth the effort, trust me.
How to make beef ragu
Start by browning the beef pieces in a Dutch oven such as a braiser with a little bit of olive oil. Make sure to season your beef generously. You might also need to do this in batches, if your Dutch oven isn’t big enough to fit all the meat.
Transfer the meat to a plate then in the same Dutch oven make the sauce by sautéing the onion, celery, carrots, seasoning in a little bit of olive oil. You want to cook this until the veggies soften. Stir in the garlic, herbs and tomato paste. I like to add tomato paste because it gives the sauce a richer flavor.
Add the red wine, beef broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil then add the beef back to the skillet. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and transfer it to the oven. Bake it for 3 hours with the lid on at 350 F degrees.
Remove the beef pieces to a bowl and shred with two forks. Transfer the shredded meat back to the sauce and stir.
Garnish with more parsley or Parmesan cheese.
How to serve beef ragu
This beef ragu is so delicious and it’s great served over any pasta such as fettuccine or pappardelle, but it’s also amazingly delicious served over a creamy polenta or rice. You can even serve it by itself or as a spread over some nice crusty bread.
I hope you give this dish a try, it’s worth the effort, but really all that’s needed is some chopping, some browning and sautéing, then relax by the fireplace and read a good book while waiting for your dinner. The smell will be amazing and your neighbours might come knocking, but isn’t that what Italian food is all about? MANGIA! MANGIA!
Try my One Pot Beef Ragu Pasta if you’re looking for a busy weeknight version of this recipe!
How to store leftovers
This beef ragu will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store it in an airtight container.
This ragu also freezes well. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.
Try these comforting dinners:
- Baked Penne with Italian Sausage
- Chicken Lasagna alla Bolognese
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Aglio e Olio
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Baked Spaghetti Casserole
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- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lb chuck roast cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves chopped
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 piece Parmesan cheese rind optional
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 16 oz Fettuccine dry
- Parmesan cheese shredded
- Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.
- In a oven-proof Dutch oven such as a braiser, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is sizzling hot, add the beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste. Work in batches if your Dutch oven is not big enough to fit all the meat.
- Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add the onion, celery, carrots, Italian seasoning and stir. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent, and the veggies soften.
- Add the garlic, rosemary, sage and tomato paste. Pour the red wine and beef broth and stir. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil. If adding the cheese rind, add it now, it will kick up the flavor of the sauce. The rind won’t melt, it will just sit in your sauce and infuse the sauce with extra umami.
- Add the meat back to the Dutch oven, cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours with the lid on.
- 20 minutes before the 3 hours are up, cook the fettuccine according to the package instructions. Keep the pasta water.
- Transfer the meat from the Dutch oven to a bowl and shred with two forks. The meat should shred easily after being cooked for so long. Remove cheese rind from the Dutch oven and discard.
- Add the shredded beef back to the Dutch oven and stir. If the sauce is too thick add some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce a bit. Garnish the sauce with fresh parsley.
- Serve over fettuccine with Parmesan cheese.
- This is the Dutch-oven Braiser that I used.
- You can also make this in the slow cooker. Brown the meat first then add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred the beef then return back to the slow cooker.
- This recipe would also be fantastic over some creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.
- I used Cabernet Sauvignon for this recipe, but any red wine of your liking will work.
- Nutritional information includes fettuccine. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.