Made in an Instant Pot, this Beef Ragù with Pappardelle is so delicious it can truly be considered the epitome of comfort food. When I think of beef ragù recipes I instantly assume they would only be enjoyed at a 5-star restaurant, but today you can bring this culinary experience to your dinner table.
Traditionally, ragù is a slow-cooked dish. Meaning your meat and sauce simmer away for several hours until you get that rich and tender, fall-apart beef and tomato combo. Normally, I have to slow cook my meat for 6 to 8 hours in order to get it to be tender enough to shred apart. But while I'm a firm believer in "low and slow", sometimes I just don't have that kind of time.
So what exactly is ragù?
Ragù is basically minced or chopped meat cooked with vegetables and a liquid such as beef broth or wine. This meat-based Italian sauce originated in Italy and is more about tender meat (beef is used most of the time) than anything else. The beef to sauce ratio is 3:1 as there is typically only a small amount of tomato sauce added. For the vegetables, carrots and celery are most commonly used.
But...I had to put my twist to make it my own while respecting its origins. This recipe will taste as if you were in the kitchen all day preparing but it's actually fairly simple and takes no time. I love Italian food and this dish does not disappoint.
What cut of beef should I use?
The normal route is chuck roast. It is an inexpensive cut of beef that would be too tough to enjoy unless it was cooked slowly. Beef brisket is another good option as it naturally shreds. However, I make my beef ragu recipe using flank steak. It just makes the end result even more tender and the quality of this cut of beef goes perfectly with this recipe.
And what about the pasta?
You can serve this Instant Pot ragù on anything from zucchini noodles for a low carb alternative to creamy polenta, but I think pasta is your best bet. There are a lot of pasta options but pappardelle is the way to go for this meat sauce. It's a wide, flat pasta, commonly compared to fettuccine.
Ingredients you'll need:
- I go with flank steak, but you can also sub chuck roast or brisket.
- To season your meat, you'll need black pepper, Himalayan salt, and oregano. Keep it simple.
- Pappardelle is the perfect pasta to soak up the sauce.
- I use crushed fire-roasted tomato sauce. The Muir Glen brand is less acidic than others.
- You need beef broth to help to create that rich and savory tomato base.
- If I've said it a thousand times, fresh best so opt for fresh basil, fresh rosemary, & fresh thyme.
- And that butter and minced garlic will help add a bit more flavor to kick things off in the pot.
- You'll drop whole bay leaves in the Instant Pot before closing the lid.
- Along with dried basil leaves, oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, and Himalayan salt.
- For the optional toppings have some Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, creme fraiche, or ricotta on hand.
You may have noticed I left the veggies out. While I love carrots and celery, I went the simple route. However, feel free to add them in if that's your preference. Make it your own.
How to make beef ragù:
You will begin this recipe by prepping the flank steak. Cut the flank steak into 3-4 even and season both sides. You'll sear your steak in a pan/skillet for two minutes on each side then remove it from the heat. This step may seem simple and maybe even unnecessary, but the extra flavor is well worth it.
I wanted to go with a fresh flavor profile so I used fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh basil leaves to bring out the flavor in each bite. Remove the leaves from each then place them in food processor for a few quick pulses.
Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to Pressure Cook (High) for 35 minutes. Add your butter and minced garlic then place the seared flank steak into the pot along with the remaining ingredients. Close the lid and cook for 35 minutes then allow it to slow release for an additional 20 minutes.
While the Instant Pot is slow releasing, this is the perfect time to cook the pasta. Drain it and set it to the side. Now you can remove the lid from the Instant Pot and shred the flank steak using two forks. This is the easiest way to pull the beef apart.
Add your pasta to a bowl and fold in the ragù. I highly suggest topping this off with grated Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche (you can also use ricotta). Now you can call this recipe complete. Those toppings really bring this grand slam home for the win!
This is a great family dish that can also be an awesome option for a fancy date night. This Beef Ragù with Pappardelle recipe is perfect if you want to make a great impression on absolutely anyone. For real.
If you love pasta, you should also check out these recipes:
- Gluten-Free Chicken Gouda Penne Pasta
- Creamy Chicken Roasted Poblano Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff
- Farfalle a la Vodka with Chicken