Braised Beef Ragu with Curly Fettuccine

Serves 4-6
Time 2 hours


500g chuck beef, chopped into large chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
100g speck
1 stick celery, diced
2 brown onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bunch thyme, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, diced
1 long red chilli, finely diced
2 pinches dried oregano
2 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine
700g passata
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 500g packet curly fettuccine
Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve


Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy-based pot or casserole over high heat, drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and add the beef. Seal for a few minutes on all sides until golden brown.


Heat a frypan over high heat. Peel the rind off the speck and place in the pan to render down. Dice the speck into small lardons and add to the pan, along with the celery, onion, garlic and thyme. Sweat off for a minute before adding the carrot and bay leaves. Toss to coat in the fat.


Add the mushrooms and chilli to the pot with the beef, then add the onion and speck mixture. Stir through the chopped tomatoes, red wine, stock and passata, then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 ½ hours.


Cook the pasta according to packet directions, and reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water.


After slow cooking the ragu, remove the beef pieces from the pot, allow to cool slightly, and finely chop. Return half to the pot and place the remaining in a large, hot frypan. Add a couple of cups of the ragu to the pan and stir through the parsley.


Add half the cooked pasta to the frypan and toss to coat in the sauce. Place in a serving dish and repeat the process with the remaining pasta and some more ragu. Serve the pasta topped with extra ragu and grated parmesan cheese.