1 tbsp olive oil
1kg chuck steak, cut into 3cm cubes
2 brown onions, finely diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes or 1kg fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 - 4 thyme sprigs
Cooked penne, to serve
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve
Finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, to serve
Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half of the steak and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef and set aside.
Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomatoes, 250ml (1 cup) water and the thyme sprigs, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 ½hours.
Remove the lid from the pan and continue to simmer for a further 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Discard the thyme sprigs. Add the cooked pasta to the ragu and toss for 1 minute. Serve the beef ragu and penne with parmesan and parsley, to garnish.