Skip to content
Italian brisket ragu recipe

Italian brisket ragu recipe

39 ratings

This Italian favourite is a fantastic alternative to the traditional Bolognese sauce. The slow-cooked, rich Italian brisket ragu offers deep, meaty flavours, with an added smokiness from the pancetta. A deliciously hearty dish. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 15 mins to prepare and 3 hrs 00 mins to cook
  • 443 calories / serving


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg beef brisket, cut into large pieces
  • 400ml (13 1/2fl oz) Italian red wine such as Chianti
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme, finely chopped
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) pancetta rashers, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tinned plum tomatoes
  • 250ml (8fl oz) beef stock
  • 250ml water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • small bunch basil leaves, torn
  • grated Parmesan, to serve
If you don't have plum tomatoes, use a tin of chopped tomatoes instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    22g 31%
  • Saturates

    7g 35%
  • Sugars

    9g 10%
  • Salt

    0.4g 7%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 10.5g Protein 41.6g Fibre 3.6g


  1. In a large, heavy-based saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the brisket well and fry the pieces quickly in batches until browned. Set aside.
  2. Deglaze the pan by pouring in a little of the wine and scraping the bottom of the pan. Set aside the liquid for use later.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil and cook the onion, carrot and celery on low until starting to soften. Add the garlic, herbs and pancetta and turn up the heat slightly. Cook until everything is lightly golden.
  4. Add the red wine, scrape the bottom of the pan again and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Now return the brisket to the pan with the remaining ingredients, except the basil and Parmesan. Season well.
  5. Bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer. Cook on very low for 2-3 hours, or until the brisket shreds very easily. Then mix well and season if necessary.
  6. Serve with pasta, scatter the basil on top and add plenty of Parmesan.

See more Italian recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

You may also like

Be the first to comment

Before you comment please read our community guidelines.