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  • Writer's picturemandyjdc

Melt In Your Mouth Braised Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

This right here is the ultimate Italian comfort food. It's more of a weekend dish as it takes most of the day to make, but trust me, it's worth every minute! What makes this so amazingly delicious and rich is the complex layering of flavors, and the succulent, melt in your mouth beef that's been slowly braising all day. Pappardelle is a great choice of pasta for this ragu. The sauce and the beef cling to the subtle curves of the pasta making it the perfect vehicle to enjoy this flavorful sauce.

It's actually pretty easy to make, the most time consuming part is just cutting, seasoning, and braising the beef. After that, you just add in certain ingredients one by one, cook for a few minutes, add another ingredient, cook a few minutes, and then add in all the rest at once! Then you get to sit, relax, enjoy a good glass (or bottle) of wine while your Dutch oven/slow cooker works it's magic for the next 3-5 hours. Extra bonus? Your house will have the lingering aroma of an amazing Italian restaurant for the next couple of days.

With all that being said, this is definitely one of my top recipes. It comes out restaurant quality, you can impress all your friends and family with your cooking skills, and then you get the satisfaction of enjoying a spectacular meal that you made yourself.



2Tbl Olive Oil

2 Lb Chuck roast

1 White or yellow onion, diced

8 Garlic cloves, minced

1 C Beef broth

2Tbl Balsamic vinegar

1/4 C Red wine (Cabernet or Merlot)

28 oz Crushed tomatoes (canned)

14.5 oz Diced tomatoes (canned)

2 Tbl Tomato paste

1 wedge Parmesan

8 Fresh basil leaves

3 Bay leaves (if using fresh, use 1 or 2)

Salt and Pepper

How To:

  1. Dice your onion and mince your garlic, set aside.

  2. Break down your chuck roast into 2-3 inch chunks. There will be marbling throughout the meat fibers, but there is also large, thick veins of hard fat that you'll want to cut around and discard. I also cut off the hard fat on the outside of the meat as well. It's the fine, thin, fat marbling that melts and makes the meat tender.

  3. Season all sides of meat with salt and pepper.

  4. Heat 2 Tbl of olive oil in Dutch oven or large pot on med-high heat.

  5. Sear meat on all sides for about 5 minutes until all the sides have a nice color on them. My Dutch oven is kind of small, so I had to do this in 4 batches. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, otherwise you won't get a good sear. Add more oil if the bottom of the pot starts looking dry.

6. Remove beef to a plate and set aside. Add onions to the pot that you cooked your beef in and saute for about 4-5 minutes.

7. Add in garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute.

8. Add in tomato paste, stir, and cook 1 minute.

9. Add beef broth, red wine, balsamic vinegar, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, basil leaves, 1 tsp of salt, and add in the rind of the parmesan wedge.

10. Bring to a boil, and then decrease heat to low (simmer) and cover.

11 Stir occasionally, and cook for 3-5 hours or until beef shreds easily with a fork.

12. Take beef out of the sauce with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the beef and return to the sauce.

13. Let simmer another 20 minutes.

14. Boil a large pot of water and salt it until it tastes like the ocean.

15. Cook your pasta per box instructions. I cooked mine for 10 minutes.

16. Remove bay leaves, basil leaves, and parmesan rind from the sauce.

17. Once your pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the sauce and combine.

18. Top with fresh grated parmesan, and parsley.

Mangia Bene!


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