Beef Shin Ragù

How to Make A Ragu

Keeping it simple, my Beef Shin Ragù takes things back to basics. Full of good quality, rich ingredients, it needs little to supplement it. Mixed in to a hearty portion of fresh egg pasta, Italian-inspired food scarcely achieves a better flavour.

So powerful is the public’s current hunger for pulled this and pulled that, that a restaurant I recently visited served up a dish of tagliatelle and pulled beef, rather than the advertised ragù. Time to redress the situation.

Beef Shin Ragu Recipe

Ragù, in my mind, should have a sauce separate from its meat. Think bolognese. What you don’t want is a dense mass of meat cooked to within an inch of its life, all traces of sauce long ago absorbed.

Beef shin is a magnificent cut of meat to use for this ragù recipe. Rich in flavour, after a few hour’s cooking, eating beef shin becomes like sinking your pearly whites into a curiously potent butter.

I love cooking with interesting cuts. The flavour shin, or cheek has is superior to generic ‘stewing beef’. If it’s something that interests you too, my recipes for Ox Cheek Rendang and Beef and Apricot Tagine are certainly worth a glance.

Beef Shin Ragù

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely sliced
  • 300ml red wine
  • 100ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1kg beef shin
  • 100g tagliatelle per person
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C(fan). Heat the oil in a large pan. Gently fry the onions until translucent, before adding the garlic.
  2. To the pan add the bay leaves, anchovies, red wine, beef stock and tomato puree. Simmer for 2 minutes until all combined.
  3. Meanwhile, seal your meat and transfer to a large roasting tin. Tip over the red wine sauce, seal with foil or a lid and bake for 2-4 hours.
  4. Pull or slice the meat apart, into large chunks. Cook your pasta in generously salted oil, drain and mix the ragù into the pasta. Serve with a little fresh thyme.

Recipe for Ragu Recipe for Beef Shin Ragu

Cost: Though shin is a little pricier than your average stewing beef, at around £8/kg it’s still relatively inexpensive. Combined with a list of ingredients that aren’t necessarily costly, this recipe makes for a meal that should set you back little more than £11.

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21 comments on “Beef Shin Ragù

  1. nanon
    March 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    looks like a perfect birthday recipe!!!

  2. TinyKitchenGreatTasteBigHeart
    March 12, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    “…served up a dish of tagliatelle and pulled beef, rather than the advertised ragù. Time to redress the situation.” Agree… For the few years I have left where I’m expected to use a knife and fork, I’d like to cut my meat. Where do you find beef chin?

    • frugalfeeding
      March 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I don’t know about beef chin ;). But you can find beef shin at most good butchers.

  3. Karista
    March 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    This is my kind of pasta dish! Love!

  4. Chica Andaluza
    March 12, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Forget bolognese – this is how the Italians do it…gorgeous!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Exactly! Though I do also like bolognese 😀

  5. Conor Bofin
    March 12, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I was tempted to make a very suggestive comment about all the pulling going on, but, I didn’t. Lovely dish Nick, as usual.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 13, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Haha – glad you alluded to it though ;). Thank you, Conor.

  6. cookinginsens
    March 13, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Fabulous with the tagliatelle!

  7. odelleasmith
    March 14, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Perfect Ragu, there’s nothing better for a tasty, meaty sauce to serve with tagliatelle.
    This is how the Italians make theirs, it looks gorgeous, can’t wait to try it.
    Shin beef makes excellent stews and casseroles giving great flavour, this Ragu takes it a step further.
    A superb recipe that will be delicious for any occasion.
    Thanks Nick for reminding us how a true Ragu should be made, that’s Sunday lunch organised, I’m sure that it will be enjoyed by all the family.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 9, 2015 at 10:40 am

      My pleasure, Odelle! I adore a good, rich ragu and it can be done frugally!

  8. abdun navi
    March 14, 2015 at 10:12 am

    very nice frugal,…
    look delicious

  9. Michelle
    March 15, 2015 at 3:02 am

    Beautiful, beautiful pics!

  10. domesticatedsundays
    March 17, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Looks amazing!

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