Slow cooked beef ragù is one of our favorite comfort foods of all time. It’s hard to beat a wonderfully rich and flavorful ragù over your favorite pasta! This Red Wine Slow Braised Italian Beef Ragù is an easy recipe and is the perfect dish for any time of the year, but it is especially amazing during fall and winter when you need something warm and cozy.
What makes italian ragù so special?
Ragù is an Italian meat-based sauce that is generally accepted as deriving from the French ragout, which was and is a similar meat sauce and was probably introduced to North-Central Italy in the 1700s. There are arguments that the Italian ragù originated in some form all the way back to the ancient Romans. Regardless, the Italian form of ragù is a rich and flavorful full-bodied meat sauce that varies widely across the country, and indeed the world, today.
Generally speaking, a ragù is an Italian slow-braised meat-based sauce, and is usually not heavy on tomatoes.
How to Make Delicious Red Wine Slow Braised Italian Beef Ragù
- 1 Dutch oven
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 sheet tray with wire rack
- 2 lbs. Beef chuck, sirloin, or shoulder, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces Pancetta finely chopped
- 1 medium onion small dice
- 3 small carrots small dice
- 6 medium celery stalks small dice
- ½ fennel bulb small dice
- ½ bottle dry red wine such as a Chianti Classico
- 16 ounces unsalted beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 24 ounces tomato purèe
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 2 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 315°F
- Spread the diced beef on a rack over a sheet tray. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to dry while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- In a small dry pan over medium heat, add the fennel seeds and toast, stirring often, on the stovetop until they become fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Remove the fennel seeds to a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the pancetta. Once the pancetta starts to render some of its fat (about a minute) add half the beef and brown, then remove the browned beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl and brown the rest of the beef and remove to the same bowl.
- In the same Dutch oven, add the vegetables and cook over medium heat until they start to get some color, about 4-5 minutes. If necessary, add a little olive oil while sautéing the vegetables.
- Once the vegetables are done, add about a half cup of the dry red wine and deglaze the Dutch oven with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom well to dislodge the browned bits (fond). Once deglazed, add the rest of the wine, then add the beef and pancetta and the remaining ingredients except for the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Bring the ragù to a light boil, stir, cover and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check to make sure there isn’t too much evaporation at the 60 minute and 120 minute mark, and add more if necessary.
- After 3 hours, remove from the oven and add the balsamic vinegar. Taste to see if the ragù needs sugar to counteract any excess acidity (usually this is not necessary). Add more kosher salt if needed to taste. Let the ragù rest, covered, for at least 20 minutes, then serve over your favorite pasta or polenta!
Only use sugar if the dish is too acidic after cooking.
Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1486mg | Potassium: 889mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5284IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 5mg