Slow Cooked, Pulled Beef Italian Ragu Recipe

Weekends, for me, are all about food – in every form. I kick off each weekend morning with my favourite cookery programmes and that includes a bit of James Martin on a Saturday (total hunk).

A few weeks ago he made his Italian Ragu recipe inspired by the late great Antonio Carluccio – proper winter comfort food.

My mate James makes his ragu with both pork and beef mince which I recreated myself and it’s delicious. But I kept thinking how good this would be with some slow cooked, pulled beef. Aaaaand I was right. So here’s it is, my slow cooked beef Italian Ragu recipe…

The ingredients:

  • A small beef joint
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50ml red wine
  • 200g fresh pasta, I used tagliatelle

I stuck the beef into the slow-cooker on the low setting at around 10.30am on the morning and took it out around 4.00pm. You could leave it in longer, but this was about right. You could put it in for 2-3 hours on high if you don’t have as long too.

Once the beef is cooked and pulled, just pop it to one side whilst you prep for the ragu.

And then, when you’ve sliced, diced and chopped all of the right ingredients, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat.

Next add into the pan the onion, carrot, celery and tomato puree. Cook for a few minutes then add your pulled beef and mix well. I used about half of the beef and it was more than enough.

Add the garlic, bay leaf, your red wine, stock, and the tinned tomatoes. Bring it all to the boil then reduce right down to a simmer, cover and cook for around 35-40 minutes.

Then, stir in the basil and begin cooking your pasta in boiling water with a little salt. Fresh pasta literally takes minutes – approximately 4 but the packet will advise you.

Finally, spoon the pasta into the ragu, adding a little of the pasta water as you do. Stir it all in well and plate up.

A good sprinkle of parmesan and a drizzle of oil and you’re done!

This one is so easy for a weekend, pop the beef in early doors whilst you run errands/binge watch Netflix – whatever kind of weekend awaits. Plus, the Italian Ragu recipe is essentially a bang-it-all-in-a-pan job, but you’ve got a scrumptious tea that is 100% better, and healthier, than the local takeaway.

If you want to make the James Martin original recipe (mine’s better), you can find it here. Simply replace the pulled beef with 500g pork and 500g beef and add it in at the same time, but cook it until brown before moving on to the next step.

There’ll be plenty left over if you’re only dishing it up for two. It’s fine to be reheated if you want it for your bait the next day, too.

Let me know if you give it a try! Tag me on Insta: @properscrumptious

Lots of love, LB x

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