Beef Ragu Recipe
by Liv
July 09, 2012

Beef Ragu Recipe

I know I haven’t updated my blog for a while. After finishing college for the summer break I really wanted to finish off my first fully illustrated alphabet and what I thought would be quite a quick project turned out not to be. In total I had to do 26 individual illustrations and that combined with looking after Amelia has really taken up all of my time. Amelia is an absolutely amazing daughter but just like all babies she’s really demanding. She constantly wants attention and while she can now entertain herself by playing with toys (she loves her rabbit rattle) she still wants face to face playtime the most.

So with completing this alphabet and looking after Amelia I’ve had absolutely no time to update this blog (this will hopefully change soon). Now I’ve finished my alphabet I’m really happy with it. This follows on from a “Rocket Man” project I started a few months ago and I’d only recommend you give a project like this a go if you have a lot of time to spare.

But back to food, I’m going to share my Beef Ragu recipe. I first tried ragu around the beginning of this year when I visited Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Glasgow “Jamie’s Italian”. We read some reviews of Jamie’s Italian before deciding to go there and it’s now my favourite restaurant. The restaurant isn’t too fancy or fine dining, the staff are really attentive but the restaurant has a really nice ambience to it. Most important though is the food is really delicious. The first time I visited I had a venison ragu and it was utterly delicious. I must also mention the restaurant is really baby friendly and of course with Amelia we can only go to restaurants that have baby changing rooms, easy access etc.

Amelia also absolutely loves Jamie’s Italian (actually she loves all restaurants). There are so many things for her to look at, hear and smell. Think of it as a “baby senses paradise”.

I would have quite liked to have made a venison ragu but here in Edinburgh venison is really difficult to get hold of so I used beef shin instead. Beef shin is one of my favourite parts of beef as it can be really delicious but it needs to cook for a while to really tenderise it. Cooked properly it’s really delicious (I use beef shin now for beef noodle soup) and it’s also a lot cheaper than regular cuts of beef like sirloin or rib eye.

beef ragu recipe


Beef Ragu Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 3 medium carrots chop finely
  • 3 stalks celery chop finely
  • 1 large onion chop finely
  • 4 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 100 g bacon lardons
  • 1.5 kg beef shin dice it
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme chop
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chop
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pack beef stock or water to cove the ingredients


  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot with the strongest heat and add bacon first until the bacon oil starts to run. Then add carrots, garlic, celery, onion and tomato paste. Cook until all the vegetables start to caramelise. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add beef and keep cook until beef is cooked on the outside. Add wine, stock, tinned tomato, rosemary and thyme and bring it to boil. Once the ingredients have started to boil, turn down the heat and simmer for at least 2 hours. Stir occasionally while simmering and after 2 hours it’s ready.

Recipe Notes

Note: Ragu is best eaten with a really nice pasta or bread. We usually buy our pasta from Valvona & Crolla which is an Italian delicatessen here in Edinburgh but the point is use a good quality pasta and for bread something like a focaccia is amazing with ragu.

Below is the Space Alphabet I talked about above. Make sure you click on the image for a much larger version.


Below is the Space Alphabet I talked about above. Make sure you click on the image for a much larger version.

space alphabet illustration

By Liv

Illustrator by day, home chef at night. I worked as a professional chef for many years but now I draw for a living. I now cook just for the love of cooking. The recipes on this website are all influenced by things I have eaten in different locations around the world.

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  1. Alice

    yum yum yum!


    This looks delicious and your pictures are amazing. Would love for you to share your photos with us at

  3. Jannie

    Hi! Nice to hear from you- the alphabets are so much fun! To answer your question about how I do my work- everything is done in Adobe Illustrator. No worries- I don’t mind sharing, its not a secret 🙂 Hope to see more illustration work from you soon! In the meanwhile, I’m going to try some of your recipes after I settle in the new home. They look really yummy. 🙂 Hope you and Amelia are well!

  4. Mj@cardamomhills

    The alphabets look really funky and ragu sounds delicious!

    • admin

      Thank you very much. 🙂


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