Rich Ragu Bolognese

Amy Massey
by Amy Massey
6 Servings
2 hr 10 min

This is one of my favourite Italian dishes to cook at home whenever I have guests over for dinner. Everyone I have ever made this for has loved it and people often request it when they come for dinner!

What's more is I have developed this recipe to make it leaner and it has not compromised the flavour at all! So perfect if you want to cut back on the calories without giving up on great tasting food.

A perfect dinner to have bubbling on the stove when you have that extra time in a Sunday afternoon. It is slow cooked until the beef is tender and has soaked up all of the rich and delicious flavours from the sauce.

This rich yet lean ragu bolognese recipe is a huge hit with dinner guests!

Tastes great served with freshly grated parmesan and tagliatelle.

Slow cooked until rich and tender.

Recipe details
  • 6  Servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 2.5 Hours Total time: 2 hr 10 min
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  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 200g pancetta or smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil or spray oil
  • 1 litre rich beef stock
  • 1 red wine stock pot made up with 100ml hot water, or 150ml red wine (see tip)
  • 3 tbsps worcester sauce
  • 150ml milk
  • 200g canned chopped tomatoes
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Heat a large, heavy based saucepan until hot and add the pancetta/bacon. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the fat starts to melt.
Add the beef mince and cook until thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes.
Remove the beef and pancetta from the pan using a slotted spoon and keep warm.
Add the olive oil or spray oil to the pan and heat.
Once hot, add the onion and gently fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and golden.
Add the carrots and celery and fry gently for 2 minutes until softened.
Return the meat to the pan and mix well.
Add the milk, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, until almost all of the milk has absorbed.
Add the chopped tomatoes and coo gently for 1 minute.
Add the red wine stock and the Worcester sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the beef stock, followed by a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low and leave to simmer, uncovered for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the ragu has reduced and thickened.
Serve with freshly cooked tagliatelle and shavings of parmesan.
  • Canned tomatoes can be replaced with 4 tbsps. tomato puree.
  • If you can't source the red wine stock pots, replace with 150ml red wine. I just use the stock pots to keep the calorie content lower.
Amy Massey
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