Slow Cooked Ragu

Rich and unctuous with pasta.

I’m not vegetarian, but I do think if you’re going to kill animal you should make use of all of it, (I still have trouble with some offal, but I try). I have used shin for this recipe. Usually I would use beef shin, but I was lucky enough to be given some venison shin by friends who hunt (just in case you think the shin the photo looks different from what you’re using). Beef shin is relatively inexpensive compared to other cuts of meat, and benefits from long slow cooking when it literally just falls of the bone.

The meat should be easy to shred with a fork

If you haven’t had it before, it reminds me of oxtail. Its unctuous and tasty and makes great stews and casseroles. This version is fantastic with pasta, but is equally great with mashed potatoes or as a pie filling.

Browned before cooking within the sauce

I’ve used red wine in this sauce because I had some left, but if you don’t have any or prefer not to use alcohol you can swap this for beef or vegetable stock.

Thick and packed full of flavour.

This is what I used to call a “weekend recipe” or slow food meaning its not a quick recipe, but it is fairly simple (since many of us are working from home at the minute, you can make recipes like this, cooking away while you work). I used an oven to cook this, but if you have a slow cooker this recipe is perfect.


1Kg Beef Shin

2 Large carrots (Cut into 1cm chunks)

2 Stalks of celery (Cut into 1cm chunks)

1 Large onion (Cut into 1cm chunks)

2 Bay leaves (Optional)

1/2 Bottle of red wine or 750 ml beef or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp Tomato puree

400ml Can of Passata or chopped tomatoes

1 Tbsp Oil

1 Large knob of butter

Salt and Pepper


  1. Heat the oil and put in a large oven proof pan (with a lid), and brown the shin on all sides, before setting to one side
  2. In the same pan, add the chopped vegetables cook until soft, add the tomato puree and bay leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the wine
  3. Allow the wine to cook until the alcohol has burned off (basically so it doesn’t sting your nose when you breath it in is the best way I can describe it). Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (celsius)
  4. Add the passata, and place the meat back in the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 .5 hours
  5. After 2.5 hours remove the dish from the over and lift the shin meat out. On a separate plate you should be able to shred the meat from the bone with a fork
  6. Add the shredded meat back into the sauce and stir well. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve with pasta, or mashed potatoes

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