Serve this ragu with wide ribbons of pasta like pappardelle.

This recipe is a nod to our Instagram series on ‘Traditional Butchery’. In our second episode, part 1, we focused on the Bowler and Top Rib of Beef, aka the ‘Oven Buster’ – this cut comes from above the chuck and has a good few rib bones which add structure to the meat, it needs these bones to hold it all together whilst cooking. It has an incredible amount of flavour – be prepared to do more than one meal from a single top rib as the amount of meat you get from this one cut is impressive. Cook it low and slow for beautiful, fall off the bone meat that is delicious shredded for pasta, chilli con carne or tacos – the list is endless.  

See our recipe for SLOW ROASTED TOP RIB TACOS to use up left over top rib from this recipe.



1. Preheat your oven to 140C fan.

2. Place all the ingredients for the top rib of beef in a large, deep cast iron pot. Season generously with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 10 hours to cook low and slow. (I usually do this the day before to save time).

3. After the 10 hours, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before shredding the meat until lovely and pulled, pour over some of the excess cooking liquid to keep it moist. (If you are doing this the day before as recommended, shred the meat and allow to cool completely then place in the fridge, this will keep for up to 4 days. You can then simply reheat the amount you want when you make the ragu – note, this amount of meat will make several recipes and can also be frozen once cooked!).

4. In a separate wide saucepan, set on a medium heat and pour in 2 tbsp of olive oil, once warm add in the 4 diced tomatoes and cook down with a pinch of salt for 6 minutes, add in the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant and softened but not browned.

5. Pour in the red wine and cook off the alcohol for 7 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes. Top up the empty tin with water and pour that in too, stir well to combine, season with salt and pepper at this stage. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat down slightly. Allow to cook until reduced to a thick tomato sauce – approx. 20 minutes, you want it to be able to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Whilst the sauce is reducing, place the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water and cook until al dente – it will continue to cook in the sauce so you still want it to have a bite at this stage.

7. Add the shredded top rib meat into the tomato sauce and stir well so all the fibres are coated nicely.

8. Transfer the al dente pasta directly to the sauce using tongs, allowing some of the pasta water to mix with the sauce – the starch helps the sauce coat the pasta.

9. Grate in some pecorino and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, stir to combine - the oil will create a lovely glossy finish.

10. Serve in shallow bowls, top with an extra grating of cheese and drizzle of oil (optional) scatter over some basil leaves and enjoy!


For the top rib:
• 3kg top rib of beef, bone in and tied (ask your butcher to do this)
• 4 large white onions
• 1 leek chopped into large chunks
• 3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
• 4 large tomatoes, cut into quarters
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed with skins on
• 1 tbsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 400ml beef stock
• Salt and pepper to taste

For the ragu sauce:
• Olive oil
• 4 large, ripe tomatoes diced into 2cm chunks
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
• 125ml red wine
• 1 tin of tomatoes
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 500g pappardelle (or pasta of choice)
• Pecorino cheese, for grating
• Handful of basil, for garnish
• Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling