– I have so many requirements for dishes that hit my top ten list and those requirements change as new circumstances and ideas appear. At one time, the dish would have to be elegant and almost gourmet or be a popular favorite in a foreign land to be at the top.
That phase lasted only a short time when I made Scandinavian Ragout. Not only did my family hate it, I gave leftovers to the dog and it made him sick. From that point on, easy and tasty was at the top of the list.
Dishes that use garden produce also make it to the top, which gives slow cooked Slow Cooked Shredded Beef Ragu Pasta a triple thumbs up. It tastes delicious, is easy to make and you can freeze the leftovers.
You don’t have to make your own tomato sauce for this to be a success. In fact, the recipe I found used canned tomatoes and canned tomato paste. This recipe only takes a few minutes for preparation, chopping and searing the brisket, as well as the carrots, garlic, onions, and celery take the most prep time.
You don’t have to add the sauteed carrots or celery if you don’t have it on hand. That’s the beauty of this dish, it’s simple and versatile enough you can use what you have on hand.
Most of the preparation time is spent cooking the ragu, which takes about two and a half hours. Your job is minimal at this point. It consists mostly of checking the pot periodically and stirring if necessary.
Ironically, I made this from tomato sauce that I created from frozen tomatoes. I did that to use them before they spent way too long in the freezer. When I found this recipe, I was looking for ones to use my tomato sauce up while it was still good and the Slow Cooked Shredded Beef Ragu Pasta recipe did that nicely.
I’ll now be freezing containers of the pasta to create quick meals when I need them. I’m so happy with the results, I may make another batch next week, so I have plenty on hand for unexpected company.
This slow cooked beef ragu recipe only takes a few minutes for preparation. That's the beauty of this dish, it's simple and versatile enough you can use what you have on hand.
2 hours, 50 minutes
2.5lb / 1.2kg beef brisket or any other slow cooking beef, cut into equal 4 pieces (Note 1)
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil, separated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced + 1 cup celery, diced (*optional)
28oz/800g crushed canned tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 beef bouillon cubes + 3 cups water or (2 cups of beef stock and 1 cup of water)
3 dried bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1lb/500g dried spaghetti or other pasta of choice
Freshly grated parmesan cheese or parmigiano reggiano
Fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped (optional)
2 hours, 30 minutes
2 hours, 50 minutes
Pat beef dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over high heat in a heavy based pot. Add beef and sear each piece on all sides until browned (around 3 minutes in total), then remove onto a plate.
Turn stove down to medium low and add remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.
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 (except extra salt and pepper) and return the beef to the pot (add the juices too). Turn the stove up and bring it to a simmer, then turn it down to low. Cover the pot and let it cook for 1 hr 45 minutes.
Then remove the lid and let it cook for a further 30 minutes until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with forks and the liquid has reduced to be a thick sauce.
Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning to your taste with salt and pepper. ALSO add a bit of sugar (1/2 tsp at a time!) if it is a bit sour for your taste.
Turn the stove off and remove the beef from the sauce into a large bowl. Shred it coarsely with two forks. Then return it to the sauce. Place the lid on and set aside until ready to serve.
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, or use 2 normal size fry pans. (Note 4) 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 for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce water evaporates and leaves you with a thick Ragu sauce that coats the pasta.
Serve it immediately with plenty of freshly grated parmesan or with parmigiano reggiano.