Braised Beef Ragu

I’m still on my run of savory. And why shouldn’t I be? The reality is, yes, in between sweets, I actually eat food. But it’s not often I do meat for my savory, but today – we are going savory with some Braised Beef Ragu.

Braised Beef Ragu | Bakers Royale

Sure it’s heavy and totally not summer-like, but then again I’m not a locavore either. Nope. Shame on me for bucking that trend and jumping out of season, but this appetite of mine is built to please without delay. 

Braised Beef Ragu | Bakers Royale

And here’s the great thing about this dish—almost a one pot meal and it’s super easy—quarter the meat, braise it, saute your seasonings, then into the oven it goes. See what I mean about easy?

Braised Beef Ragu | Bakers Royale

As a side note, this is a Donna Hay recipe that I adapted. I didn’t make many changes other than adding in the thyme, and the anchovy paste.  And in my humble opinion, the anchovy paste makes the sauce. It’s a small amount – 1 tablespoon, but it’s also pretty concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Of course you can skip it, but I think it adds just the right depth to this dish. As an added plus, this is one of those dishes that gets better the next day—so yay to leftovers!

Braised Beef Ragu from Bakers Royale

this recipe

Braised Beef Ragu

Yield: Serves 6


Recipe adapted from Donna Hay

  • 2lbs chuck roast, quartered
  • plain all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 6 springs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1  15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 4 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 lb tube pasta
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • finely grated parmesan, to serve


Preparation: Heat oven to 350ºF.

  1. Dust the chuck roast in flour, shaking to remove any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottom saucepan over high heat. Cook the beef on each side until brown, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add the remaining oil, onion, thyme and garlic and cook for 6–8 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to high. Add the wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2–3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock, water, tomatoes, tomato paste and anchovy paste, sugar and stir to combine.
  2. Return the beef to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven and roast for 2 hours. Remove the lid and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat. Return meat to the sauce and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente, about for 10–12 minutes. Drain, return to the pan with the beef sauce, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Top with basil and sprinkle with parmesan to serve. Serves 4–6.



  1. The original recipe does not use anchovy paste, but I thought the sauce needed a something a bit more, and the anchovy paste did it. The paste is pretty concentrated, so a little goes a long way.  Of course you can skip it, but I think it makes the sauce.


  1. Carmen Woitas says

    First off. .. art with the photos. I love how effortless you make it look. .. like you finished cooking and couldn’t wait to eat! Knowing staging took forever hope you got to the rest of your meal before it got cold. Haha

    Can’t wait to try this! Eating not photographing.


  2. says

    “The reality is, yes, in between sweets, I actually eat food.” This made me laugh. YES! Food bloggers don’t eat donuts for dinner. I love this recipe and these photos! Where on earth did you get that plate with the ridge? I have been looking ALL OVER! Pinned!


  3. says

    So so beautiful! I am loving the surface you shot on. Is it some kind of concrete? Painted?


    • Naomi Robinson replied: — June 30th, 2014 @ 10:56 am

      Hi Ashley – It’s a an old metal table that rusted and then I gave it some spot treatment with paint here and there to “dirty” it up some more.


  4. says

    I’m kind of confused as to why eating hearty dishes in summer has anything to do with locavorism. Seasonal eating, sure, but that beef could totally be local! :) Whatever the season, this ragu sounds fabulous! Just perfect for a super comforting dinner.


  5. Chelsea says

    GORGEOUS photos! Can I ask where you got your silver plates/tray (right hand corner of second photo) Obsessed! :)


  6. says

    Well, this dish is perfectly in season for us Down Under, so thank you :)
    The boyfriend (our resident meat eater) will love this, and the fact that he can have it all to himself. Meat and pasta, is there any easier way of getting to a man’s heart? Me thinks not. I might not tell him about the anchovies though…


  7. Amanda Holbrooks says

    Cooking this now…it smells divine. Did you use 4 tablespoons of sugar? I checked the original recipe and it only called for 1. Getting a little worried mine may turn out too sweet.


  8. kate says

    I love this recipe. I have made it several times but for the life of me i can’t figure out how much water goes in that is mentioned in the directions it’s not listed in the ingredient list. I always just leave it out and it always turns out fine. I just wonder if it can be better?


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