Braised Beef Ragu Recipe

Braised Beef Ragu: rich beef dish is slow cooked in the oven until fork tender. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes, perfect comfort food.

Braised Beef Ragu: rich beef dish is slow cooked in the oven until fork tender. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes, perfect comfort food.

I’ve been making this braised beef ragu for over a year now, and I’ve been meaning to share the recipe.  I made it again for our Beauty and the Beast themed dinner and movie night the other day -check out all the details of the Beauty and the Beast party here..  We were inspired by the “Be Our Guest” song in the film to create a menu that featured beef ragu, since they mention it, and this recipe was perfect!  It’s rich and flavourful and the perfect comfort food, especially for cooler weather as we head into fall and winter.  You’ll definitely want to pin this recipe!

braised beef recipe

Braised Beef

Braised beef is any beef slowly cooked at a low temperature.  It’s generally seared at a high temperature in a hot pan first, and then slowly cooked in a braising liquid.  The braising liquid is usually broth, and/or wine.  The slow cooking of the beef breaks down all the connective tissue, until it’s fall-apart tender.  There’s also often some sautéed vegetables included, most commonly onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.  The braising is a great way to tenderize less expensive cuts of beef and make them fork tender after hours of cooking in a rich braising liquid.  We usually use a beef roast, but you can braise many other cuts of beef also.

braised beef ragu

Beef Ragu

Beef ragu is an Italian meat sauce dish served with pasta.  This Italian food is usually tomato based, and this rich sauce sometimes includes vegetables.

how to make raised beef

Braised Beef Ragu

Our braised beef ragu combines the best of both of these dishes, using a beef roast that is slow cooked until it’s tender, along with the traditional onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, there are also mushrooms included in our dish.  The braising liquid is beef stock and rich red wine, but there is also some tomato paste included to add the traditional tomato-based sauce flavour of a beef ragu.  Our dish slow cooks for several hours in a large dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid and the cooking liquid reduces, the vegetables take on the flavor of the wine and tomato mixture, and the beef becomes fork tender.  Before serving, the meat is shredded  and given a good stir to turn it  into a rich beef ragù sauce.  This one pot meal is sure to become one of your favorite things.

Our braised beef ragu is delicious served with a wide pasta noodle like a pappardelle pasta.  Cook the pasta until it is al dente, and then seve the meaty sauce over top for the perfect main course.  This dish is perfect for pasta night. But this rich beef stew meat is also delicious served over mashed potatoes, or some people love it served over polenta.  Either way, I know you’ll love this easy beef ragu recipe.  You can also top the finished dish with a little freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

braised beef ragu

Yield: 6

Braised Beef Ragu

Braised Beef Ragu
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs of beef roast, cut into 3 -4 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp red chilli pepper flakes
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


    1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven, and brown the beef pieces on all sides over high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    2. In the same pot saute the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms until softened, about 8 min. over medium heat.
    3. Add the minced garlic, and red chili flakes and cook 1 min. longer.
    4. Add the broth, wine, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the beef back to the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil.
    5. Add a lid to the dutch oven, and cook in a 350 degree oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, until the beef is fall apart tender. Use two forks to shred the cooked beef. Serve over pasta, or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 621Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 1368mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 49g
how to make beef ragu

Recipe Notes

Because we braised our beef ragu in the oven, some of the cooking liquids evaporated.  If you want more sauce with your finished dish, feel free to add a little hot water to the dish before braising, or save some pasta water to make the beef ragu a little more saucy.  Depending on if you use a cast iron dutch oven, or not, and if you have a tight fitting lid or not, and if you braise for 2 or 2 1/2 hours the liquid amount will vary.  

When I used a casserole dish for baking there was more liquid left.  I usually add about a cup of hot water to it now for the dutch oven I have.  You don’t want the sauce to be soupy, but you do want some liquid.  If you’re serving it with pasta you may want a more liquid sauce, and you can add some of the pasta water.  If you’re serving it with mashed potatoes you may want it a little less liquidy.  You can also save some of the potato cooking water to add as well.

When it’s done cooking I shred the meat with two forks.  If the meat won’t shred easily it, isn’t done yet, so give it a little more time.  When you’re shredding the meat, be sure to leave some large chunks and some small beef chuck pieces, and stir the liquid and veggies throughout.


Any leftover beef ragu can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  This sauce is even better the next day, and makes a great make ahead.  You can also freeze leftovers.  It’s great frozen as an individual serving.  Reheat on a cold day for the perfect lunch or dinner for one.  

Meal Ideas

It’s also wonderful served as a Sunday super.  As soon as any guests arrive in the house, they’ll smell the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen as it slowly cooks.  It does take quite a while to cook. so it’s often a good choice for the weekend when you have a little more time.  Once it’s prepped and in the oven, it doesn’t take much looking after.  Do check on it every hour.  You may want to stir it, so that any beef on the top doesn’t dry out.  You can also add a little water at any stage of the cooking if you feel it’s drying out too much.  

I love to serve this dish for a dinner party.  I’ve ‘often been asked for the recipe after ward.  I usually serve it with a big caesar salad and cheesy garlic bread, and have some freshly grated parmesan cheese to add to the top.  It’s always a hit.  Be prepared for your guests to want seconds.  It’s quite a heavy hearty meal, so best followed with a lighter dessert.

braised beef ragu recipe

With braised beef ragu, life really is a party!

More Recipe Inspiration

You might like our Best Homemade Mac and Cheese with Panko Breadcrumb Topping here.

mac and cheese recipe with panko

Also check out our Beef and Vegetable Soup Recipe here.

Beef and Vegetable Soup Recipe: this homemade version of your favourite think and chunky soup is delicious and easy to make.

You might also enjoy our Recipe for Swedish Meatball Sauce here.

recipe for Swedish meatball sauce

This recipe was part of our Beauty and the Beast themed Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Night -check out all the details about the whole party here.

Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Toolkit

Love Disney Princess dinner and movie nights?  Buy our Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Toolkit.  The Toolkit includes 6 different Disney Princess movie nights with menus, all the recipes, inspiration, and printables for each one.  Check out more about the Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Toolkit by clicking here.

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