This Big Batch Beef Ragu with Pasta easily feeds 8 people. You can make the ragu ahead of time and reheat just before serving!
I put off sharing this Big Batch Beef Ragu with Pasta last week as the weather was so warm, but we're back to slightly dreary English weather again, and as far as I'm concerned, slow cooked fall-apart beef and a mountain of pasta is exactly what's called for!
Once a month, i'm in charge of cooking dinner for 8-12 people at my grandad's house. We meet there every other week, but I take it in turns with my mum to cook for everyone.
My sister, makes us dessert every time (she's the cake queen - I still haven't got her secret vanilla sponge recipe yet. Need to work on that one!).
This was one of the dishes I prepared a few weeks ago (other crowd-filling meals I've cooked include Chicken and Red Pepper Pasta, Big Batch Chinese Beef, Cheesy Baked Meatballs and Make-Ahead Spaghetti), and it went down extremely well!
I was looking through my archives before writing this, and time to fess up.... I've made this Big Batch Beef Ragu with Pasta before for the blog (pretty much the same recipe - in a smaller portion). But I guess it just goes to show that this one's a keeper that you'll want to make over and over.
It's been almost three years since I last photographed it, so rather than just update the old photos, I thought it's time to bring it back to the front once again!
I love serving this one with rigatoni, but any pasta works - in fact even rice works with this one.
Top with with cheese and parsley, and maybe even a few finely chopped chillies if you like it spicy!
You can make it ahead of time and reheat before serving. You can even make a huge batch and freeze smaller portions when you need dinner in a hurry during the week.
Do you have any big batch meal favourites? Please share - I'm always looking for ideas!
Big Batch Beef Ragu with Pasta
- 1 kg braising beef - chopped into bite sized cubes
- 3 heaped tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions - peeled and chopped
- 4 medium carrots - peeled and chopped into small chunks
- 3 sticks of celery - chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
- 300 ml red wine - (optional, replace with stock if you prefer)
- 800 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 600 ml hot beef stock - (water plus 2 stock cubes is fine)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Cooked rigatoni pasta - or your favourite pasta
- 50 g cheddar cheese - finely grated
- Small bunch parsley - chopped
- Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
- Place the braising beef in a bowl and mix with the flour, salt and pepper.
- Heat up the oil in a large casserole pan, Brown the beef (you may need to do this in two or three batches). Add the onion to the beef and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add in the carrot, celery and garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add in the tomato puree and stir, then add in the wine, turn up the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes. Scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and thyme. Bring to the boil, stir and place a lid on the pan.
- Place in the oven for 3-4 hours* until the beef is very tender. Check every hour or so to ensure the sauce isn't running dry. Top up with a splash of boiling water if it's starting to look dry.
- Once cooked, serve with rigatoni. You can stir the rigatoni through the sauce or just serve the sauce on top of the rigatoni if you prefer. Top with a sprinkling of cheese and parsley, then serve.