Old World Ragu

This Ragu is best enjoyed with Italian bread, pasta optional. Now, I’m not saying tossing some pasta with the Ragu is a bad idea, just not necessary. Once you make it you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Grab some forks and bread and enjoy what Grandma’s in Italy have been making for hundreds of years. If you were to ask 100 Italian Grandmother’s for their Ragu recipe, you would get 100 different recipes and that’s what’s so beautiful about a Ragu.

You’ll need:

  • 2.5-lb chuck steak cut into 2” cubes
  • 2-lbs of Italian sweet pork sausage
  • 4-28 oz cans of whole plum tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 1-cup dry red wine
  • 2-bay leaves
  • 5-garlic cloves smashed
  • 1-cup of chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1-cup of water


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper
  2. Add 1/4-cup oil to a heavy pot and once hot brown the meat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes
  4. Add the wine and deglaze the pot and reduce the wine by half
  5. Add all the tomatoes then add the water to the bowl you crushed the tomatoes in and slosh it around and add to the pot
  6. Add the bay leaves, 2-tsp of salt and 1-tsp of pepper
  7. Cover and once it begins to bubble lower the heat to a very low simmer and cover 3/4 of the way so steam can escape.
  8. Simmer for 4 hours stirring along the way. Scoop some of the fat that has risen to the top.
  9. Slice the sausage into 2″ pieces and add to the Ragu and simmer for another hour.
  10. Remove the bay leaves

Serve in a bowl with crusty rustic Italian bread. You can simmer the Ragu longer just be sure to only simmer the sausage for an hour.

Daniel Mancini