Braised Beef Shin Ragu with Pappardelle

10:19 pm on 22 July 2008

(Serves 4-6)


  • 1 kilogram beef shin, off the bone, in large pieces
  • Seasoned flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 red onions, sliced
  • 100 grams bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 4 anchovies, such as Ortiz
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups good beef stock

To finish

  • 250 grams dried pappardelle pasta
    Parmesan or pecorino for grating


Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
Dust the beef with flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil in a large oven-proof casserole and brown the meat on all sides. (You may have to do this in batches). Transfer to a plate.

Add the onions, bacon, garlic, rosemary and anchovies and cook until the onions are soft.

Add the balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble up, scraping the base of the pan to release any sticky bits.

Stir in the tomato paste, red wine and beef stock. Add the beef and any juices and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover with a piece of baking paper, then a tight fitting lid. Cook for 2 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.

To finish: Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling well salted water. Drain well.

To serve: Take out the chunks of meat and pull apart with a fork. Stir back into the sauce. Divide the pasta between warm serving dishes and top with the ragu. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Pappardelle: a wide ribbon pasta usually made with eggs and hard durum wheat flour. Available from specialty food stores and good supermarkets.

Stephen Morris’s wines to complement this recipe

2005 Pikes (with a picture of the fish of the same name on the label) from Clare Valley make a funky little Italian-inspired Sangiovese (that's the grape for chianti), Merlot and Cabernet blend. It's called Luccio (Italian for Pike) and is warm and ripe with dusty spicy notes $17-19.

More straight forward is a favourite drinker of mine - 2006 Yalumba's Bush Vine Grenache from the Barossa. A bit of spice, a bit of grunt. Cuddle down and pour a second glass $20ish.

2005 Sacred Hill Wine Thief Syrah (Hawkes Bay). Good fruit flavours and warm spices $25-30.

2005 Hatton Estate The Doctor Syrah (Hawkes Bay). A top effort with elegance and spine as well as warmth and power $60-70.

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