beef ragu with pappardelle | recipe

I recently wrote about gorging myself for a whole day which included this delicious pappardelle pasta dish with a tender beef ragu.

Beef ragu with fresh pappardelle

Ragu traditionally uses secondary cuts of meat which are slowly & gently cooked for hours so that the sinew breaks down and the meat is tender and juicy. For this I use my slow cooker, but you could also make it covered in a low-moderate oven (supervise this step).


Makes 4 regular or 3 large servings

  • Fresh made or good store-bought pappardelle pasta (thin, wide ribbons)
  • 1 large tin tomato puree (420g)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I use whatever I’m drinking at the time, usually Shiraz, but you can use any red that has a full body)
  • 1 cup good quality veal or beef stock (I used veal because it has a more subtle flavour but whatever you do don’t use veggie stock as it changes the flavour completely; a ragu is meaty)
  • 800g chuck steak, largely diced
  • 3 bay leafs
  • sea salt / cracked pepper
  • 1 tbs butter, melted
  • 2-3 tbs plain flour
  • shaved parmesan to serve


This method uses a slow cooker for part of the process. If you start this in the morning, it’ll simmer away (deliciously heady aromas), unsupervised and be ready by dinner time.

In a slow cooker, place diced beef, tomato puree, wine, stock and pepper, cover and put on 8 hour low setting.

in the slow cooker

Once the meat is done, remove the meat and allow to cool slightly (to make it easier to handle) then with 2 forks gently shred each piece of meat into little fibers.

shredded beef

Strain any unwanted bits from the meat cooking liquid (the jus) and place into either a large pot or fry pan and bring to simmer.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

To make a roux for thickening the jus in the pot/pan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it resembles a thick paste. Add this, one tablespoon at a time, into the jus (sauce) until you achieve the consistency of a thick gravy-like sauce. Then add the meat and gently stir to soak up all the jus.

meat and thickened jus

Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to packet directions (usually 3-4 minutes for fresh pasta). Strain water, mix the pasta with the ragu and serve!

Beef ragu with fresh pappardelle

This is also nice to serve accompanied with a side salad and a glass of red wine!

Published by thisismelly

Mel @thisismelly lives a life of adventure, gets lost in farmer’s markets, regularly indulges in movies, loves to whip up gourmet meals in the kitchen, swears that one day she will learn to speak French properly, adores candles and fresh flowers, married her high school sweetheart, visited 19 countries and counting, fears an apocalyptic rage-virus, regularly spoils her cavoodle Harley, loves walking along the harbour, is decorated with ink, muddles her right & left, seasonally switches between blonde and brunette, has soul-mates, favours painted nails & dangly earrings, always orders the 'plateau de fromages', is obsessed with British or Scandinavian crime fiction, detests creepy-crawlies & people who take too long to order coffee, gives terrible directions, makes up crazy dances for her devilishly handsome husband, believes in good, would always be dressed in Saint Laurent, Gucci & Chloe if she could, adores Tex-Mex & Japanese, loves the smell of rain & evening jasmine, may be addicted to Instagram&Pinterest, is always on the hunt for a really good macchiato, is James Taylor’s biggest fan, gets rowdy with tequila, dreams every night, takes pickles, jalapeños & dried fruit for movie snacks, would hate a world without French champagne, adores Pantone 1765, almost always wishes she was lying on the sand in the sun, is an inconsistent Paleo convert and although she is a hopeless Francophile she will forever be smitten with Sydney.

4 thoughts on “beef ragu with pappardelle | recipe

  1. Hmmmm…. I don’t have a slow cooker, so that could be a problem! Might save this for my next visit to my mum (who has one and uses it often!).


  2. Oooh thank you for posting! I’ve cooked beef in the slow cooker before, but always left it at that and ate it as stew. The steps afterwards to shred it and adding the jus and serving with fresh pasta sound divine, will definitely be giving this a go (treat meal perhaps though!).

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