Beef Bolognese

Beef Bolognese is that rich, decadent meal that makes your Italian sauce dreams come true.  It is full of flavor and tons of different cuts of Beef.  We call this Bolognese sauce our “Labor of Love” meal.  It takes a few hours to truly pull out all the luxurious flavors and boy, is it worth it! Each birthday, our family tradition is the birthday boy/girl gets to pick their “special meal” and for me, this is IT!



8 stalks of Carrots

5 stalks of Celery

2 Onions

1 bulb Garlic - (yes, the whole bulb...the more the merrier) sliced or chopped

1 tube Tomato Paste (4.56oz)

3 – 28oz Whole Tomatoes (San Marzano are a personal fave) 


5lbs - Short Ribs USDA CHOICE SHORT RIBS – Van Lith Ranch

7lbs - Brisket USDA CHOICE BRISKET – Van Lith Ranch

2lbs - Ground Beef PREMIUM 80/20 GROUND BEEF – Van Lith Ranch

4lbs - Oxtail BEEF OXTAIL – Van Lith Ranch

5lbs - Bone Marrow BONE MARROW – Van Lith Ranch


1 cup Half & Half 

1 wedge of Parmesan Cheese 

3 Bay Leaves

5 springs Rosemary

5 springs Thyme

Salt & Pepper 




Beef Bolognese is simply created by marrying flavors together with a result of a rich meaty tomato-based sauce.  Using numerous cuts of meat, it is sure to please your palate.  We use Brisket, Short Ribs, Ground Beef, Bone Marrow and Oxtail and the different textures of each different cut truly make this sauce thick and robust just like we all love it. 


What to serve Bolognese with:

You can serve this Beef Bolognese over any type of your favorite starch, whether that be different shape and textures of noodles or fluffy mashed potatoes or polenta. We typically eat ours over a bed of warm pappardelle noodles, the thick flat foundation is perfect for soaking up this beautiful sauce.

 For a low carb or gluten-free option you can use gluten-free noodles, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.  Shoot, this sauce is even delicious on its own. 

How to make Beef Bolognese:

Traditionally, Beef Bolognese is cooked up in a stock pot or Dutch oven.  This is A LOT of meat and will transition into a bunch of freezer meals, which is even better.  I recommend using the largest pot you can find.

Building your Beef Stock:

Put your Brisket, Short Ribs, Bone Marrow, and Oxtail into a large stock pot.  Add, onions quartered, carrots halved, and celery.  You are essentially making a “beef stock” at this point, everything can be a rough chop just make sure you have thoroughly washed all your produce.  Add in your Bay Leaves and fill the pot until everything is covered with water.  Turn your stock pot on LOW for 6 hours, this is the process that truthfully takes your Bolognese dish to the next level.  With just a slight bubble happening, over time there will be a layer that will keep surfacing the stock and you will want to skim that off during your cooking time.  Check it every half an hour or so to skim the fat & debris off the top and it will turn your stock into such a deep beautiful amber colored Beef stock. 

Once your 6 hours of building the stock are up, strain off everything.  KEEP YOUR STOCK, it is liquid Gold.  Whatever you do not use in this recipe is able to store in your freezer to use for other recipes and it seriously takes your dishes to the next level. I like to use my stock for truthfully anything but my favorites are soups and upping the flavor game on your sauces or gravy.  

Prepare your product:

Separate out the meat from the vegetables. Remove the Bay Leaves.   You will want to allow your meat to cool for a bit before you shred it.  In the meantime, blend in a blender or a food processor all your vegetables that you used in the stock (onions, carrots & celery).  Once your meat is cooled enough for you to handle, shred it and give it a rough chop. 


Cook up the Sauce:

Starting with an empty pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add your sliced garlic, tomato paste and ground beef. Cook it until the Ground Beef is browned.  Add your blended vegetables to stock pot and allow it to brown for a few minutes. Add in your canned tomatoes, I typically like to blend the tomatoes before I add them in just to make for a smoother sauce, but some people like to hand squeeze each tomato into the pot and them break them down that way (we have a bunch of picky eaters that will pick around the tomatoes if they are not blended and smooth)

At this point you will want to add all of your Beef that you shredded and chopped back into the pot. Along with the Beef, you will want to add 16 ladles full of the glorious Beef Stock you just made. Add more later if you are wanting your sauce to be thinner. Once all your ingredients are put back into the pot, you will want to cook on the lowest temperature possible. Cut your Parmesan wedge into half and throw the entire thing, rind and all into the pot. Add in your half &half and season with salt and pepper to your liking. The half & half helps break down the meat even more to allow for such tender meat and a silky sauce. Stir everything to combine.

Cook for 1 hr. to marry all the flavors, do not be afraid to cook longer, cooking it for 3 hours will deepen the flavor even more just make sure it is on low. Stir every once in awhile to ensure your sauce doesn't start sticking to the bottom of the pan. 


Enjoy over your favorite pasta or starch! 



How long will leftovers keep:

REFRIGERATIOR: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-7 days.  Storing in glass is best and to prevent spoiling, open the jar the least amount possible.  To do this, I usually portion out how much my family will use at one time.

FREEZER: Once your sauce is cooled, you can portion out into different airtight containers.  I like to store mine in gallon Ziploc bags and freeze them lying flat.  Freezing them this way allows for space saving storage.