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Braised Beef Ragu with Rigatoni

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • Dutch Oven or Large Oven Safe Pot
  • Pot


  • 2.5 lb beef chuck roast
  • Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter divided
  • 1 med Onion chopped
  • 1 Celery stalk cut in thirds
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves Garlic- pressed (or minced garlic from jar)
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 sprigs Sage
  • 1 tbsp Chopped basil (preferably fresh but can be dried)
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Cup Dry red wine
  • 28 ounce Can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 cup Beef stock
  • 1/4 cup Fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 lb Rigatoni ( I used Rao's Homemade - Imported from Italy)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh parmesan cheese


  • Bring the beef to room temperature then cut it into 4 pieces. Pat it dry with paper towels, then generously season it on all sides with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Add the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter to a Dutch oven or large, oven-safe pot over medium high heat and once it’s hot, add the beef searing on all sides and ends then transfer the beef to a plate.
  • Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, sage, balsamic vinegar, basil and oregano. Reduce the heat to medium-low and saute 5 minutes then add the tomato paste and continue cooking 2 more minutes.
  • Pour in the wine scraping the bottom to get all the brown bits off and cook 5 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally or until the wine starts to reduce, then fold in the crushed tomatoes and beef stock.
  • Return beef and their juices to pot, turning them over in the sauce then cover bake at 325 degrees for 2-3 hours, stirring at the 1 hour point and checking for doneness at 2 hours. You want the beef to be able to shred easily, but not mushy.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and take the beef out of the pot for shredding. Remove the carrots, celery and herbs then continue cooking the sauce 15 more minutes (stovetop) uncovered allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken more while you shred the beef. Using 2 forks shred the beef, I like to keep it to bigger pieces and don't shred it down as much as you would a pulled pork.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper.
    NOTE: Some canned tomatoes have a very acidic/metallic taste in order to cut this you can add a tsp of granulated sugar at a time, combine thoroughly and taste after each teaspoon. By doing this it actually brings out more of the tomato flavor and reduces the metallic/acidity that canned tomatoes have.
  • Add the shredded beef to the sauce along with the other tablespoon of butter.
  • Serve with your rigatoni ( you can really use any pasta you like). Top with the fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
Keyword italian, ragu, rigatoni, Sage, tomato