A Rich, Meaty Italian Ragu

Homely food is what I like to cook the most, nothing fancy, just simple food made well.

I love meat, it has to be said. Don’t get me wrong, I eat my fair share of fruit and veg but there is something about a hearty, meaty meal that cannot be beaten. I also love slow cooked food that you can leave to simmer away for hours in the oven without needing to give it a second thought whilst you get on with the rest of your day. Lazy cooking I call it, but I find it makes the best kind of food in the world!

This recipe ticks both boxes and results in a rich, indulgent meat feast which you can have on its own with some cooked pasta or if you want to take it to the next level and have time to spare, you can create a lasagne.

This is one of those recipes that I prepare a large batch of so I can do both, to satisfy the greedy little one that I am! Especially at this time of year when the cooler nights are coming in and comforting, hearty, soul warming food is needed. The recipe below will allow for a portion of ragu and pasta for 2 and a lasagne for 4. Or ragu and pasta for 2 and a LOT of leftovers…Or just stick to the ragu and pasta for a party of six. Whichever way, there will be a lot of it!


1 small onion,
1 medium carrot,
1 stick of celery,
700g minced beef,
1 tsp salt,
500ml white wine,
250ml milk,
2 cans of tomatoes (400g each),
6 tbsp butter,
6 tbsp olive oil,
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg,
1 tsp oregano,
salt and pepper


Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy based casserole. Chop your onion quite finely and sauté slowly in the oil and butter until softened and slightly translucent, making sure to stir regularly.

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Whilst this is cooking away on a low heat, finely chop your carrot and celery before adding this to the dish. Continue cooking over a low heat for a couple of minutes to soften.


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After a couple of minutes add the minced beef and cook until it is just loosing its raw pink colour.


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Then add the wine and cook over a medium heat until nearly entirely evaporated, enjoying the fragrant aromas coming from the pan!

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Once the wine has reduced, lower the heat and add the milk. Stir this in and leave to reduce until nearly all has evaporated, making sure to stir regularly. Then add the oregano, nutmeg and tomatoes. Season well with salt and pepper and stir everything together.

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Put this into a slow oven, between 120-140C / 250-285F and leave for 4-5 hours, stirring every so often whilst you go and put your feet up!

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Delicious enjoyed with fresh bread dunked in to soak up the oil!

Delicious mixed with ribbons of freshly cooked pasta!

Delicious made into a lasagne.

In my case today, pasta it is.

When the ragu is reduced and ready add to some cooked pasta and enjoy. With a touch of grated parmesan.

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Bon Appetit! I hope you enjoy our household staple as much as we do!


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