Picture of Beef Ragu
This Beef Ragù is "loosely" Italian-inspired. Here I've served it with potato gnocchi and tagliatelle.

Great for cosy nights in, casual get togethers and dinner parties alike.

Why? Well, it's an awesome "make ahead meal" that gets better and better the longer it sits.

Step 1:

Picture of
Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 3-4 hours

- 450g (1lb.) braising or stewing steak* (such as chuck, shin, silverside, etc.)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk (rib) of celery, finely diced
- 15g (½ oz.) dried porcinis, soaked in 500ml/2 cups of warm water
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 fat garlic cloves, finely minced (optional)
- 1 Tbsp tomato purée (paste)
- Approx. 250ml (1 cup) of red wine (use less if you like)
- 400g (14oz.) tinned tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp orange marmalade
- a large handful of fresh parsley or basil leaves, finely chopped or torn
- salt and pepper, to taste


- Instead of a cinnamon stick, use ¼-½ tsp of ground cinnamon, to taste*
- White wine or cider instead of red wine
- If you don't want to use alcohol, just use 1 tablespoon of balsamic or red wine vinegar
- Substitute the fresh thyme with another fresh herb like oregano, marjoram, rosemary, etc. or use dried herbs
- Use juice and zest of ½ orange as opposed to orange marmalade

* You shouldn't taste cinnamon in the final dish. It's only there to add depth.


I don't like the taste of red wine on its own so I can't offer any recommendations on what kind to choose.

I think it's important to find a wine that you like using in ragù - different wines have different effects on the final flavour.

If you know how to and/or are confident dicing up your onion, carrot, celery and garlic then skip Step 3-5.
Fabulous knife skills and brilliant photos. Thanks so much!
tinpie2 years ago
LeahHawks (FoodNotions) (author)  tinpie2 years ago
Thanks tinpie! =D
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a winner in the pasta contest!
Thank you! Thanks for the sub too! =D
bajablue2 years ago
Congratulations LeahHawks... job well done!!!!
Thanks bajablue! =D
Void Schism2 years ago
interesting fact: browning of meat is not caramelisation (the cracking of sugars) but the Maillard reaction (reduction between sugars and amino acids).
More Info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction
Ah! Thanks for the heads up and link. ;)
No worries, I love sharing interesting facts and food... omg that steak looks good!
hehe :)
sdrake92 years ago
My husband doesn't like mushrooms of any kind. Do you have any ideas for something I could substitute to help keep some of the depth of the dish? It sounds wonderful, and I might make some for myself when he goes out of town so that I don't have to change it!
Sorry, I had meant to mention in the recipe that the mushrooms are optional. :s

The two solutions that come to mind are either:
- use a flavoursome stock (beef is the most commonly used)
- or add in ¼ lb. of chicken livers, finely chopped (if you can get them).

To be honest, I doubt he’ll be able to see the mushrooms in the finished dish. Only the carrots keep their structure; the other veggies melt into the sauce. But I appreciate that he might see you preparing/cooking them.

But please don't worry about tweaking the recipe for your/your husband's convenience. It’s just a guideline. :)

Thanks for commenting! I hope my answer helps. =D
bajablue2 years ago
Looks delicious... I can't wait to try it!
Thank you! Can't wait to hear how you got on. =D
Wow! Great dish and such a thorough Instructable! What kind of pasta did you use? That pasta that looks like sacks?
Thank you! =D

Yeah sorry - I should have made that clearer. Those are potato gnocchi and in the other photo I used tagliatelle. :)
Cool, cool. I thought it was gnocchi, but I wanted to know for sure. Does the beef ragu taste better with just pasta pasta, or gnocchi?
No problem... :)

Oooh... tough question! ;)

I don't know about better... but I personally prefer it with gnocchi - it creates a nice contrast to the dish plus it looks more presentable on the plate.
rocklocker2 years ago
Leah this looks fantastic, are those Gnochis in the first picture. Ive been looking for recipes to take up to deer camp and this will definitly be one of them.
Thank you kind sir! =D

Yes they are indeed gnocchi.

Deer camp? Sound intriguing! Glad to be of help...
tinpie2 years ago
BEAUTIFUL...what more can one say..very well done
LeahHawks (FoodNotions) (author)  tinpie2 years ago
Thank you! =D
LeahHawks (FoodNotions) (author) 2 years ago
Thanks! :D

Brilliant - can't wait to hear how it goes...
Looks delicious! Will definitely be trying soon. One of my favourite dinners. The photos are great too :)
Oh wow! Gorgeous photos. :D I want some!
Thanks - I'd invite you round but that pesky Atlantic ocean is in the way... ;D