Soul-food: A Comforting Meaty Ragu



Few things give me as much joy as a hearty ragu when it’s cold outside. I know that technically, we are in Spring, however – i’m not sure the weather man received the memo. I woke up to pouring rain this morning, and so it was decided, a slow-cooked meaty ragu was on my agenda.

Cookware note: My absolute favourite kitchen friend, is my Le Creuset cast iron casserole – perfect for stove-top cooking, oven roasting and taking straight to the table. Clean-up is also an absolute dream, I just couldn’t recommend this high enough, especially for a recipe like this!


Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu

Recipe from Donna Hay’s ‘The New Classics

Serves 4-6


  • 1kg beef brisket, cut into 4 pieces
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, thickly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 250ml red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 250ml water
  • 1 x 400g can cherry tomatoes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Dust the beef in flour, shaking to remove any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cook the beef for 2-3 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining oil, onion and garlic and cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened. Increase the heat to high. Add the wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock, water, tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste and sugar and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pan, cover with a tight fitting lid, transfer to the oven and roast for 2 hours. Remove the lid and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat. Return the meat to the sauce and mix to combine.

Rudi-Rating The Rudi-Rating (RR): This dish received a 9/10! Moo says it lost a point as it could do with some roasted nuts for some crunch – i’ll try this next time and report back!


This dish is perfected with homemade pasta, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle.


I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! Do you have a favourite stew you enjoy cooking? I’d love to hear from  you in the comments below.

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  1. This is delicious! I tried it and only had to substitute bay leaves with thyme and canned cherry tomatoes with fresh cherry tomatoes. 😊

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