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.
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 2hours30minutes
Total Time 2hours50minutes
2.5lb/ 1.2kg beef brisket or any other slow cooking beefcut into equal 4 pieces (Note 1)
1cupcarrotsdiced + 1 cup celery, diced (*optional)
28oz/800g crushed canned tomatoes
2beef bouillon cubes + 3 cups water or2 cups of beef stock and 1 cup of water
3dried bay leaves
salt and pepperto taste
1lb/500g dried spaghetti or other pasta of choice
Freshly grated parmesan cheese or parmigiano reggiano
Fresh parsley or basilfinely chopped (optional)
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.