The Best Meat Ragu

By • September 16, 2009 1 Comments

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The Best Meat Ragu

Author Notes: This is the meat sauce recipe that my Genovese great-grandmother Raffo served to her family and is still a family favorite.[email protected]


Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound ground beef, not lean
  • 1 yellow onion, medium, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • good olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can whole italian tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomatoe paste
  • 1 tablespoon Bovril or other beef concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Reconstituted Porcini mushrooms to taste (optional)
  1. Lightly coat bottom of a medium saucepot with olive oil, add butter and melt over medium flame on stovetop. Do not brown butter.
  2. When butter and oil are hot, add onions and "sweat" until translucent.
  3. Add ground beef but DO NOT crumble or break apart. Add meat in one "lump." Turn heat down to low, cover pot and simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. After approximately 45 minutes the meat should be brown all over. Break meat apart into tiny bits with a wooden spoon. Do not drain. Add remaining ingredients, leaving tomatoes whole. Simmer covered for 1.5 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Break tomatoes apart with wooden spoon and simmer partially covered for 30 more minutes.
  6. Taste for salt. Serve over your favorite pasta with plenty of good-quality Parmesan cheese.

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