Beef Ragu, by Enrica Rocca

Beef Ragu, by Enrica Rocca

Discover the ultimate beef ragu recipe, courtesy of Enrica Rocca; one of our favourite London-based Italian cookery schools and supper clubs. Something delicious and special to serve your guests at a dinner party, and pair with an especially tasty Nebbiolo from our shop.

Run by Venetian sisters Claire and Charlotte, Enrica Rocca is one of our favourite cookery schools and supper clubs in London. They have kindly shared their fantastic recipe for a true, Italian classic: beef ragu. Whether you're serving with ribbons of pasta, or baking into a Lasagna, this is the ultimate take on this iconic dish. Plus, we share our perfect pairing to compliment this dish. Your next dinner party is officially sorted. 


Perfect Pairing

Sori della Sorba, Nebbiolo, 2020, Piedmont, Italy

This is a special estate bottling, dedicated to the purest representation of Sori della Sorba's terroir, focusing on (in their opinion) the 'King of grapes varieties', Nebbiolo. The winery takes its name from this specific site. In Piemontese dialect, a 'Sori' is the special designation of greatness, or 'grand cru', and translates to: 'where the snow melts first' which often means south facing and highest on the hill. 2020 is a marvellous expression, with notes of black cherries, rose petals, wet rock, savoury herbs, and forest floor.

Sori della Sorba is the combined project of husband and wife team Carlo Mondavi and Giovanna Bagnasco. These are two talents with some serious pedigree between them. Carlo's grandfather was Napa maverick Robert Mondavi, and he now owns Raen winery in Sonoma, plus Giovanna is Barolo born and raised with her own family project, Agricola Brandini, thriving in the region.

Why does it work?

When in Rome, do as the Romans do aka there really is no better pairing for a classic, Italian Nebbiolo than a classic Italian ragu with fresh pasta. The earthiness of the Nebbiolo pairs beautifully with the decadent, savoury sauce, whilst its natural acidity also cuts through the richness to bring a lightness to the dish that otherwise eludes us.

Beef Ragu

Serves 10-12 generously



  • 400g Beef Shin, in 2cm cubes

  • 600g Beef Short Rib, cut off the bone and in 2cm cubes. Keep the bones

  • 350g Carrots, peeled and in 2cm cubes

  • 350g Onions peeled and in 2cm cubes

  • 200g Celery, in 2cm cubes

  • 500ml Red wine, nothing fancy needed, just a dry red 

  • 500ml Full Fat Milk (makes the Ragu creamy and balances the acidity of the tomato and wine)

  • 500ml Tomato Passata (recommend the plain Mutti one)

  • 1 Large Parmesan Rind if you have it

  • Salt, Pepper and Olive oil




  1. Season all the meat with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat some olive oil in a large pot (big enough to fit all your ingredients) and brown the meat in batches until nicely seared.

  3. Whilst the meat is browning, blitz all the vegetables in a food processor until they are bread crumb size.

  4. Once all the meat is seared, return it to the pot with all the vegetables, season with salt and cook covered for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often until the vegetables are soft.

  5. Add the wine, passata, milk, short rib bones and parmesan and leave to cook covered, stirring every so often. This will need to cook for at least 4-5 hours, until the meat falls apart.

  6. As it’s cooking, taste the sauce and add milk, wine or passata as necessary. If it’s too acidic add more milk, if it’s missing a bit of flavor add more wine and tomato.

  7. Once the meat is tender, reduce the liquid down until you have the consistency of ragu.

  8. Once cooked, I let the ragu cool down completely and then I pull the meat apart and get rid of any gelatinous/ nervy bits. This step is not essential but does make it better.

  9. When you are ready to serve, heat the ragu whilst your pasta is boiling.

  10. Add the pasta, when cooked with a good handful of grated parmesan and some pasta water.

  11. Mix well and serve immediately. 


Family Secrets


  • You can swap the beef for duck legs, wild boar, pork or venison shoulder.

  • This recipe takes a long time to cook, so we recommend making a big batch and freezing.

  • As with any Stew, this will taste even better after spending two days in the fridge.