Leftover Beef Ragu | Gestational Diabetes UK
Leftover Beef Ragu

This leftover beef ragu is the perfect way to use up leftover roast beef. Rich tomato-based sauce, packed with flavour. A real crowd-pleaser for the whole family (clean plates all round in my house with this dish) and it is also suitable for batch-cooking and freezing.

The key to this recipe is cooking the beef in the ragu sauce low and slow so that it absorbs the rich flavours and becomes so succulent it falls apart like pulled beef.

You can of course make this beef ragu with raw beef instead, by frying the beef off in batches before making the ragu.

This recipe is cooked on the hob and or oven. If you would like to cook this in the slow cooker, reduce the amount of beef stock to 300ml.

Leftover Beef Ragu

Leftover Beef Ragu

Leftover Beef Ragu | Gestational Diabetes UK
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Course: Main Meals
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Keyword: beef, leftovers
Free or Subscription Recipe: Free Recipe
Free from: coconut, dairy, eggs, gluten, nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 316kcal
Author: Jo Paterson


  • 600 grams leftover beef cooked, cooled and diced
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 large celery stick finely diced
  • 1 large carrot finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 100 grams chestnut mushrooms finley chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400 grams tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 600 ml beef stock
  • 200 ml red wine (or 200ml more of beef stock)
  • 3 large dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Prepare the cooked beef by trimming off any fat and dicing into 2cm chunks, or if using raw beef, fry the beef off in batches, then set aside
  • Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat, add the onion and celery, cooking until softened, then add the mushrooms to cook and release their water (approx. 5 minutes)
  • Add the pieces of bacon, frying until the fat renders down (approx. 5 minutes), then add the garlic to fry for 1 minute until fragrant
  • Pour in the red wine (or if not using wine, the additional 200ml of beef stock) to de-glaze the pan. Scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon, then stir well
  • Add the diced carrot, beef, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, half of the beef stock, herbs and seasoning, then stir well and simmer on high heat for 10 mins uncovered. If you find the ragu is thickening too quickly, add additional stock or hot water to keep the meat submerged
  • Turn the heat down low to a gentle simmer, stir, add some more stock or hot water, cover and cook on the hob, or in the oven (160°c fan) for at least 3 hours (any sooner and the beef may be chewy). Check the ragu every hour, pouring in more stock as needed and stirring through. If you run out of stock, hot water can be added instead, enough to keep the meat covered
  • I cook my ragu most of the day, keeping the temp low, stirring more stock or water in as necessary to create a rich ragu sauce. The meat should cook enough that it falls apart and shreds into the sauce.
    TIPS: If you feel your ragu is too watery, remove the lid and cook on medium-high heat on the hob until it reduces and thickens.
    If you feel your ragu has reduced too much, add some water in small amounts and stir through until it is the consistency you like
  • Serve the beef ragu over 3-4 tbsp of cooked wholewheat or chickpea pasta. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese


Please note the nutritional info. does not include the pasta, it is based on the beef ragu only


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 16g | of which saturates: 5g | Fibre: 2g | of which sugars: 5g