This has got to be one of the best comfort foods created.  On a cold autumn day, pop on the oven, some great tunes and start cooking this easy, but truly delicious meal. Don’t worry about what steak you use, it can be the cheapest cut, but once cooked in a slow oven for a couple of hours, the magic will appear!  If you are lucky enough to have any over for the next day, it tastes even better!  Serve with a warm chunk of bread and a great local shiraz or pinot noir. 


Ragu Sauce

  • Olive Oil (decent glug)
  • 350 gm Beef Chuck Steak, Sirloin or Porterhouse Fillet cut into 3 cm chunks
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
  • 3 carrots (finely Chopped)
  • 1 tin canned tomatoes
  • 1 tbs beef stock powder 2 cups of water
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oregano, Basil, fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 150 degrees

Finely chop onion, carrot and celery.

In a large heavy-based pot with a lid, cook onion until translucent.

Add carrots, celery and garlic.

Add steak and cook with the veg until browned.

Pour in the wine, stock and tomatoes, herbs and season

At this point, you can also add the sugar, or wait until it is cooked and add it then if you feel it needs it.  I like to add the sugar as it takes the acidity level from the tomatoes down a bit. 

In the top of the pot either use aluminium foil to seal the top before putting the lid on

Or put a piece of baking paper inside the pot so it is resting on the sauce and acting as a seal.  The paper will keep the steam in and help keep the meat tender.

Slow cook for 1 hour.  If you have more time, drop the heat of the oven to 110 degrees and leave it to slowly cook for 2 hours. Once removed from the oven, allow to cool a little and with 2 forks pull apart the steak pieces so they are slightly shredded. Mix through and taste again, season with salt and pepper to taste.



  • 600 grams of cold mashed potato or if you are making this recipe from scratch you will need to boil and mash 4 large potatoes.
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 25 grams of parmesan

In a large bowl place, a sift or colander over the bowl and push the mashed potato through so that it has a fine consistency rather than lumps.

With a fork or knife mix through the flour, salt and white pepper.

Add parmesan and egg and mix thoroughly to form a dough.  Tip out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. If it is a bit sticky, add a little more flour.


On a floured surface take divide into 6 portions of the dough and roll out into a sausage with the tips of your fingers.  You can make the gnocchi into any size you like. I like to cut mine into 2 cm lengths and then roll a floured fork over the top to create a little pattern.  Pop the cut gnocchi on to a tray lined with baking paper. Keep the flour handy as you may need to sprinkle more flour onto the surface as you go.


In a large pot add a good heaped teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil.  Once the water is at boiling point add the gnocchi. Once it is cooked it will float to the top of the water, scoop off and place it in either a colander or directly into the sauce.  


Sprinkle with freshly chopped flat leave parsley and a generous grating of parmesan cheese!