• Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cooking Time: 4 hours
  • Serves: 6

Slow Braised Beef Cheek Ragu Parpadelle

  • Recipe Submitted by on

 Ingredients List

  • 1.3-5kg beef cheeks (this was 3 large cheeks for me)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 800g crushed tomatoes
  • 100-130g tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
  • parpadelle (depending on how many people you are serving)
  • parmesan, finely grated to serve
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped


Cut any large bits of fat off the beef cheeks. Pat dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat a large, heavy based pot over high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beef cheeks (one by one if they don’t all fit on the bottom) and sear on each side to brown all the edges (a few minutes per side). Remove and set aside.
In the same pot, turn down the heat to low and add the onion and garlic. Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring to avoid it catching on the bottom.
Add the diced carrot and cook gently for 10 minutes until just softened.
Add a splash of the red wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the red wine, the beef stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves and stir to combine.
Add the seared beef back into the sauce. Bring back to a simmer, then cover and turn to a VERY LOW heat and keep at a low simmer for 3 hours. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the beef cheeks are almost falling apart.
Remove the beef from the pot and set aside. Bring the sauce to a rapid simmer for a further 20 minutes to thicken the sauce. Taste and adjust sugar for seasoning (this may depend on what brand of canned tomatoes you use as some have more sugar than others)
Meanwhile, use two forks to shred the beef into bite-size pieces. Return to the sauce and stir to combine. At this point, you can either serve the sauce, refrigerate until the next day for even better flavour, or freeze half for future use. See cook’s notes above for quantities.

To serve:
Boil the pasta according to packet instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the sauce in a large fry pan with a splash of the pasta water to loosen if it has been refrigerated or frozen. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss with tongs and a serving spoon to thoroughly coat the pasta in the ragu sauce.
Serve with grated parmesan and finely chopped parsley. I also served it with fresh ciabatta and oven roasted broccollini.

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