Beef Cheek Ragu

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 390 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x


Make this Italian beef cheek ragu recipe in just a few simple steps. Find out which wine to pair it with and how you can get your hands on a great bottle!



  • 2kg (4lbs) beef cheeks
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 celery ribs, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 beef stock cubes
  • 5ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
  • 500ml (2 cups) red wine
  • 800g (2lbs) passata
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F/gas mark 3.
  2. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole.
  3. Brown the cheeks all over on a high heat, remove from the casserole and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat, then add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot to the casserole and fry for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
  5. Return the meat to the casserole.
  6. Sprinkle the herbs over the vegetables.
  7. Crumbled the stock cubes over the meat.
  8. Turn up the heat and pour in the wine, letting it sizzle for a few minutes.
  9. Pour in the passata and add the sugar.
  10. Give everything a good stir and wait for the stew to reach a slow simmering point.
  11. Place the lid on the casserole and transfer it to the oven.
  12. After 1 hour, remove the lid and cook for another 3 hours. Check on the meat once in a while, turning over the top pieces so that their surfaces don’t harden and burn.
  13. Place the lid back on, lower the heat to 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1.
  14. The meat should now fall apart with the touch of a fork. Remove the casserole from the oven and shred the meat to desired consistency.
  15. Serve on a bed of buttered pappardelle and a glass of red wine.


  • The amount of stock cubes used should equate to 1 litre’s (4 cups) worth.
  • You don’t have to faff about with the lid during cooking time so much. Cooking without the lid simply means the liquid will evaporate and you’re left with a thick, luscious sauce. You can cook it for 6 hours straight in the oven with the lid on if you prefer. It’s always good to check up on the meat every once in a while though.
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 183
  • Sugar: 4.8g
  • Sodium: 24mg
  • Fat: 4.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.7g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 7g