Foodie Friday:  This Beef Cheek Ragu is the perfect thing to warm you up and fill your belly on a cool autumn night at home.

Prep: –
Cook: –
Serves: 6


  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 25kg beef cheeks
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup (70g) tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked from half
  • 1 parmesan rind, plus grated parmesan to serve
  • 500g tagliatelle pasta
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 250g grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • Juice of a ½ lemon



  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Trim any large pieces of fat from the beef cheeks and discard. Cook the beef cheeks, turning halfway, for 6-7 minutes or until well browned all over, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Drain all but 2 tbs fat from the pan and return to heat. Add the chilli flakes and fennel seeds, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add the onion and a pinch of salt flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, then add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and wine, and bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pan. Add unpicked basil, then the parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  4. Remove the lid, skim any fat from surface and cook for a further 30 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  6. Remove beef mixture from the heat. Remove and discard the basil and parmesan rind. Using two forks, shred the meat and stir it through the sauce. Season with salt flakes freshly ground black pepper and caster sugar.
  7. Toss the fresh tomatoes with lemon juice and picked basil leaves. Season
  8. Add the pasta and ½ cup pasta water to the pan and stir to coat. Divide among bowls. Top pasta with tomato salad and extra grated parmesan.