Beef and Lentil Ragu

Beef and Lentil Ragu

Serves 6


  • 700g (1 1/2lbs) lean minced beef
  • 3 tsps oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 75g (3oz) whole brown lentils
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced or 2 handfuls sweetcorn
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2x400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 2 tsps dried basil
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 275ml (10fl oz) water – none if slow cooking

This recipe makes 6 good sized portions of ragu. Halve the recipe if you want to make less, but I find it’s just as easy to make lots so I put the excess in the freezer and have a ready meal another day. To save time you can chop the vegetables in a food processor but take care with onions and peppers as they quickly turn to mush.


1 Fry the mince in three batches, each in 1 teaspoon of oil, until the meat has turned from pink to brown and the juices start to be released. Return all the meat back to the pan.

2 Add the remaining ingredients (except the salt and pepper) and stir to combine.

3 Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, cover loosely and simmer on a low heat for 1 1/2hours or slow cook for 6-8 hours.

4 Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaves and serve tossed through spaghetti.