Serves 6 people

Ragu is one of those dishes that just feels like a warm hug. It’s so humble and homely so it’s perfect to have around the table with friends and a bottle of red wine. Depending on who you talk to there are a number of ways to cook this dish. Some prefer it meatier, some prefer it lighter, and I prefer it rich and with bright colours. The key to making this dish is a low and slow cook. Many use a slow cooker, but I also prefer a large casserole dish in the oven so that the heat properly surrounds the dish to cook from all sides. The best pasta for ragu is pappardelle but you’re free to choose your favourite.


Equipment needed

Chef’s knife, tongs, wooden spoon, chopping board, casserole dish (with lid), measuring cups, large pot, and kettle.


1kg beef brisket

1 brown onion

1 red capsicum

1 carrot

1 stalk of celery

2 garlic cloves  

1 fresh chilli

400g tinned crushed tomatoes

2 cups beef stock

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

500g fresh pasta of your choosing

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to season.


Parmesan cheese


Step 1: Preheat an oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

Step 2: Prep your ingredients. Dice the onion, Dice the capsicum. Peel and slice the carrot. Slice the celery. Finely dice the garlic. Finely slice the chilli. Put all veggies to one side.

Step 3: Trim the excess fat off your brisket and cut the meat into 5cm chunks.

Step 4: Place a large casserole pot on your stove and heat to a medium-high heat. Add a good lug of extra virgin olive oil to the pot and then quickly brown your meat in the hot oil to seal in all of its juices. Remove the meat from the pot.

Step 5: And then add all of your vegetables, cooking on the stove top until they’re translucent and soft.

Step 6: Add the meat back to the pot, along with your tinned tomatoes and stock and stir to combine.

Step 7: Transfer into your oven and slow cook for seven hours.

Step 8: When the seven hours is up, remove the pot from the oven and transfer the chunks of brisket to a bowl.

Step 9: Using two forks shred the meat before adding it back into the pot. Stir to combine and let it rest for a few minutes.

Step 10: Cook your pasta per the packet instructions.

Step 11: After reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain, and add the pasta it into the pot with your beef (along with the pasta water) and toss to combine.

Step 12: Serve with tongs into six large bowls, top with basil or parsley and some grated parmesan cheese and enjoy one of the best rainy day meals you’ll ever come across!

DinnerDrew Hipwood