braised beef ragu

braised beef ragu

Winter weather begs for a savory bowl of this braised beef ragu. Top a bowl of perfectly cooked pasta and let the savory, goodness transport you to paradise!

I love braised meats. Not only do I enjoy the delicious flavors but I love the cooking techniques that braising entails. I find the process utterly therapeutic. First, you generously season a large piece of meat (boneless chuck roast in this case) with salt and pepper. Then brown the exterior of the meat on a screaming hot pan. When the meat is golden brown all over, you add aromatics such as onions, garlic, and celery. In goes a splash of red wine and some tomatoes before you let the oven gently cook the meat for a crazy long time. Three to four hours of roasting leaves the meat fork tender and fills your home with heavenly aromas of comfort and yumminess!

Kenny and I always look forward to this braised beef ragu and we create occasions to cook it. Even though it’s a wonderful meal for company, the pair of us don’t mind the effort to create this lovely meal for two (with several days worth of leftovers to boot!).

braised beef ragu

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braised beef ragu

braised beef ragu

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4.5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sepideh Campos


  • One 34 pound boneless beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt 
  • Ground black pepper 
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced 
  • 4 stalks celery, diced 
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, cut into strips, and rinsed thoroughly 
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 cup red wine (such as Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1, 28 ounce can plum tomatoes (such as San Marzano)
  • 28 ounces filtered water
  • 3 dried bay leaves 
  • Grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley (for serving) 


  1. Adjust the oven racks so the pot you choose to use will fit in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Dry the chuck roast with paper towels and generously season all sides of the roast with kosher salt (about 2 teaspoons) and ground black pepper. Set aside. 
  3. Heat 3 Tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a shallow dutch oven or large heavy bottom (oven proof) pot. 
  4. When the oil is hot and rippling, add the roast and sear until browned. This will take 3-5 minutes per side. 
  5. Transfer the browned roast to a large serving platter while you brown the vegetables.
  6. If the pan is dry, add more vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat. 
  7. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and leek to the pan. Cook and stir until the onions are turning translucent, 5-6 minutes. 
  8. Add the garlic, thyme, and oregano. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. 
  9. Add the red wine to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up bits of food stuck to the bottom of the pan. 
  10. Add the tomato paste to the vegetables. Stir and cook until the paste has darkened in color, 3 minutes. 
  11. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan along with 28 ounces of water (hint: fill the empty tomato can with water to clean out bits of tomato juice and properly measure the liquid). 
  12. Use a potato masher to roughly crush the tomatoes in the pot. 
  13. Transfer the roast back to the pot along with any juice accumulated in the serving dish. 
  14. Drop the bay leaves into the pot, bring the mixture to a simmer. 
  15. Turn off the stovetop and cover the pot with its lid. 
  16. Transfer the covered pot to the oven (careful, the handles will be hot) and roast until the meat is falling apart when pierced with a fork, 3-4 hours. Turn the meat over every hour or so that the portion submerged in the liquid is now exposed. This helps ensure even browning. 
  17. Remove the pot from the oven and discard the bay leaves. Use two large forks to shred the beef. 
  18. Top with grated cheese and chopped fresh parsley. 
  19. Serve over cooked rigatoni or mashed potatoes. 

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  1. Made this on a Sunday and filled the house with amazing smells all day! Our roast was a pound heavier than what’s called for and we have leftovers for days — so if you’ve got a hungry family this is the perfect meal. Lots of veggies so it’s very healthy and filling.

    We tried it with noodles but prefer it over mashed potatoes because the potatoes soak up the flavorful sauce.

  2. This recipe was fun and easy to make! The aroma during cooking left our mouths watering, and the flavor upon first taste did not disappoint! Hearty, savory flavors were perfect for a Sunday meal. Next time we want to try it over mashed potatoes!

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