Food with JP Passion: Perfect Beef Ragu

Food with JP Passion: Perfect Beef Ragu

By JP Kennedy

John Paul Kennedy is a self-taught cook and an avid fan of collecting cookery books with a passion for good old-fashioned home cooking. His passion for proper family cooking stems from his TWO Grandmothers who were both excellent cooks, one of whom was a trained chef. JP promises to bring us plenty of family-inspired recipes and tasty treats while showing us how to get the basics right.

Continuing the trend of providing you all with some back to basic recipes to try during these uncertain times and to inspire you to get back into the kitchen and cook some classic family themed recipes; here is mine for the perfect beef Ragu.

There are not many people who do not enjoy a delicious spaghetti Bolognese. In most families this is a staple go-to supper as it’s quick and easy to prepare yet delicious in taste, especially when it’s made from scratch.  

JP spag bol 1 compressor

Like many people, I used to reach for a jar of Bolognese sauce in the supermarket, add it to browned off mince and voila you have dinner to the table in less than 20 minutes!

I am going to impart on you my recipe for the perfect homemade beef Ragu Bolognese that I promise you once you make it from scratch you will never use a sauce from a jar again! It’s worth taking the little bit of extra time for the extra wow factor when it comes to taste.

Delicious Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients:(Serves 4-6)

  • 1lb (450g) Round steak mince (Get this from your butcher if you can)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 carrot
  • 500g tomato passata or tin of finely chopped tomatoes
  • Dash of worschester sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 10 leaves of fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon each of Sea Salt and ground black pepper
  • Tablespoon of olive oil

JP spag bol 4 compressor


1. In a deep casserole dish heat up the olive oil on a medium heat.

2. Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery or as I do pop into a processor and blitz – Great way to get veggies into your kids who tend not to like chunks or texture in their food.

3. Add into your casserole dish along with the oregano and tomato puree and mix well and cook for about 8-10 minutes until nice and tender.

4. Add the mince and cook until browned – this will take about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. When the mince is browned add the tomato passata, beef stock cube and worchester sauce, salt, pepper and mix well.

6. Pop on a lid and reduce the heat to low and cook for at least one hour or longer if you can. The longer a beef Ragu cooks for the better it will taste! At the very end of cooking pop in the freshly chopped basil.

7. Serve with spaghetti or your favourite pasta, adorn with lashings of grated parmesan cheese. I like to serve, alongside my Bolognese some, toasted ciabatta breadsticks with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped red chilli and parsley. Great for scooping up or dipping into your Bolognese.

You will have noticed that my recipe contains no garlic! You can of course add this if you prefer but I only recently learnt that the official classic Italian beef Ragu recipe does not contain garlic, which is unusual for Italian cooking!

I don’t think it’s needed but if you prefer to add; a teaspoon of garlic powder of freshly minced garlic will suffice. What I love about this recipe is its minimal effort for maximum taste and I would make this about 2-4 times, at least, a month.

I believe it is one recipe everybody needs to know how to make, have in their repertoire and/or is a great starting point for any new budding cook! I hope you all enjoy this simple but classic recipe. 

Contact JP On:

Twitter: @JPKCooking
Instagram: jpkennedy.kennedy