Day 6: Beef Shin Ragu with Pappardelle

Day 6: Beef Shin Ragu with Pappardelle

inspired by Trullo

Am I the only one who has a list of things I want to cook and just never quite get round to making them? You know, the ones that involve finding where you put the meat thermometer that you’re sure someone bought you for Christmas once. Or that recipe that means you need to go to five different shops to find the right spices. How about the recipe that takes forever to cook? Sound familiar?

I’ve been wanting to try and make a slow cooked ragu since Aidan ordered this at Trullo. I then quickly started stealing some from his plate! Even though my pasta was delicious… I just wanted both!

Trullo is an amazing Italian restaurant in Islington. As soon as they released a cook book I went out and got a copy. No sign of the beef shin ragu in there. But they did have recipes for a rabbit ragu (yum! instantly I’m thinking out how I can get some rabbit to try this!). It seems the principles of a ragu are the same as making a bolognese. Just using larger pieces of meat that you shred once they start to fall apart after a long slow cook.

Letting something cook for 8 hours takes some serious organisation. I don’t like the idea of leaving the oven on if I’m going out. I need to commit to being in for the day (imagine that!). And even if I am in all day what are the chances I have everything I need? By the time I’ve gone to the shops to buy it all dinner would be at 10pm! I know, I know the obviously solution is to make it a day ahead… but somehow it’s never quite happened.

So the joys of staying at home. Time on my hands (tick), all the ingredients in the house (tick – thanks to Aidan’s meat supplier getting us some beef shin pre lock down) or attainable from the local corner shop (tinned tomatoes, red wine) and having days before hand with nothing to do but plan meals! The only thing I was waiting for was finding eggs for pasta.

I know you can make pasta with just flour and water – and I often do. But I think something as indulgent as this deserves egg pasta.

And guess what? We found eggs today! The local corner shop got a delivery in – they are keeping them behind the counter so people have to ask for them!

After about 5 hours of cooking my ragu started looking a bit dry so I added some extra water – so make sure you check it every now and again.

If I’m totally honest…. I couldn’t wait the eight hours! It was smelling so good that I took some out and ate it after just under 7 hours! But I made loads to freeze so the rest kept cooking in the oven. I’ll let you know if that extra hour makes all the difference!

beef shin ragu

Beef Shin Ragu

8 hour slow cooked beef shin, amazing with pappardelle
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 500 g beef shin, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400 ml red wine
  • 400 ml beef stock
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • pepper
  • handful chopped parsley
  • parmesan
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 140°C
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a large casserole dish and fry the meat in batches until brown. Put meat on a plate and keep to one side
  • Add your onion, carrot and celery and fry for about 5 minutes, until the veg is starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes
  • Add the tomatoe puree and stir to coat the veg. Then add the 400ml of wine and bubble away until you can't smell alcohol anymore
  • Now add the beef stock, tinned tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and bay. Season with black pepper but only a little salt at this point. Put on the casserole lid and place in the oven for 8 hours. Check and give the ragu a stir every few hours. Add a little water if it starts to look dry
  • Once the ragu is out of the oven use two forks to shred the meat (it should fall apart really easily). Take half the chopped parsley and half the parmesan and stir through the ragu. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Put the lid back on and let it keep warm whilst you cook the pasta
  • Stir ragu through the pasta, plate up and top with the remaining parmesan and parsley


This is quite a meaty flavoured ragu (I know that seems like a really obvious thing to say!). But if you like more of a tomato flavour you can always stir a spoonful of sundried tomato paste through the ragu once you’ve shredded the meat.
Keyword beef, pasta, ragu

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