Roast beef and tomato ragu

Roast beef and tomato ragu

A deliciously rich ragout sauce infused with the earthy fragrance of marjoram. This is a classic tossed with fresh pasta or could be served with creamy polenta or on toasted bread with grated parmesan and rocket leaves as an interesting bruschetta.

Ingredients (for 4)

250g roast beef, cut into small dice
50g pancetta, finely diced
1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick, peeled and finely diced
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
250ml red wine
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
30g parmesan cheese, grated
½ bunch fresh marjoram, leaves picked
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil for cooking


Set a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add a good glug of oil and add the beef and pancetta. Brown for 5 minutes, then transfer to a colander to drain.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the vegetables, bay leaf and garlic, cook for 5 minutes to colour, then transfer the meat back in and stir.

Pour over the red wine and reduce by two-thirds, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Cook slowly for 40 minutes to a thick, rich consistency. Add the parmesan and stir.

Cool for 20 minutes before stirring in the marjoram. Leave to rest for 1 hour for the flavours to mature before use.