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One of my favorite things about this time of year (albeit even in California) are all the cozy recipes that are so fun to make as the weather gets chilly (or frigid, depending on where you live). Braised Beef Ragu over Cheesy Polenta is one of my favorite dishes to make. I love making it for a weekend dinner just for the family, or for when guests are over. Leftovers are even better the next day and the ragu itself also freezes really well so you don’t have to worry about making a full recipe for just a couple people.

This recipe also couldn’t be easier to make. You basically dump all the ingredients for the ragu into a Dutch oven in stages, close the lid and let everything simmer, until the beef falls apart. It’s so so good and I love the cheesy polenta it’s served over. You can also serve this over pappardelle or another pasta of your choice so there are options! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

4.5 from 2 votes

Braised Beef Ragu over Cheesy Polenta

Servings: 6
Calories: 925kcal


Braised Beef Ragu

  • tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, trimmed and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • tbs minced oregano
  • tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, minced (plus more for garnish)

cheesy polenta

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups dry polenta
  • 5 tbs unsalted butter
  • cups shredded gruyere
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


beef ragu

  • Season chuck roast all over with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tablespoon oil in a large, Dutch
    oven over medium-high heat. Add beef to Dutch oven and sear on each side for 5
    minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Add remaining oil to Dutch oven
    followed by onions, carrots and celery and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the
    garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir oregano into mixture and saute for 1 minutes. Add tomato paste and vinegar to mixture and stir together. Deglaze pot with broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and basil leaves. Add beef back into pot and reduce heat to medium-low to low.
  • Cover and (barely) simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until beef is for tender and falling apart. Shred beef with 2 forks and stir into sauce until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • Pour water into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring water to a boil and whisk in the polenta in a slow and steady stream until fully combined.
  • Lower heat to medium and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, while constantly stirring, or until the mixture thickens (to a porridge consistency). Remove polenta from heat and stir in the
    butter and shredded gruyere a little at a time, until mixture is creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve

  • Pour polenta into bowls and top with beef ragu. Top each bowl with more grated
    Parmesan and fresh basil leaves (optional). Serve.


Calories: 925kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 661mg | Potassium: 1248mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4448IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 452mg | Iron: 7mg

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  1. Julie S Not Specified Not Specified

    My mouth is watering. I’m thinking Christmas Eve dinner…

  2. tammyj Not Specified Not Specified

    Sounds delicious and am going to cook tonight! Any suggested temp/time to make in oven instead of on top of stove? Thx!

  3. Sabrina Not Specified Not Specified

    love this, ragu is one of my favorites, especially since marinara is way over-represented in Italian food! Love polenta too, thank you

  4. Amber Bent Not Specified Not Specified

    4 stars
    Looking forward to eating tonight as the 3.5 hour cooking time was really far off, and it ended up taking 8 hours at a simmer on my stove! Smelled amazing though!!

  5. Kady Not Specified Not Specified

    Could the ragu work in the crock pot?

  6. Adam Green Not Specified Not Specified

    5 stars
    Italian food is always my favorite but this one is amazingly tasty. CakeBox