Instant pot beef brisket ragu with pasta

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A bowl of Instant pot beef ragu with pappardelle pasta

Experience the magic of the Instant Pot with this mouthwatering beef brisket ragù recipe. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a hearty and satisfying meal on the table in under 2 hours. Beef brisket is cooked to perfection, infused with onions, garlic, and aromatic herbs, all simmered in a rich tomato sauce. This versatile dish pairs beautifully with pappardelle pasta, creating a rustic textured sauce that will coat every strand. 

Ingredients to make Instant pot beef ragu with pasta on a table

Traditional ragu takes over 3 hours in an oven and is made in an Instant Pot in less than half the time. The meat cooks until meltingly tender in a delicious tomato & red wine sauce. Shred the meat and add it back into the sauce to serve with pasta.

Beef brisket can be quite dry, so I added streaky bacon to the sofrito mix in the beginning to add a little fat and flavour. If you don’t want to use beef brisket use beef chuck or any stewing beef.

Raw ingredients to make Instant pot beef ragu with pasta

How to Make Braised Beef Brisket Ragu in an Instant Pot

Season the beef brisket: Pat the meat dry and generously season the beef brisket with salt and pepper on all sides, enhancing its flavour.

Sear the brisket: Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat some olive oil. Once hot, sear the brisket on all sides until it forms a brown crust, sealing in the juices and enhancing the taste.

Add aromatics and tomatoes: Add chopped onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook as per the instructions. Sauté for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Then, pour in the diced tomatoes the chopped and whole herbs and finally the stock.

Step by step images of how to make beef brisket ragu in the Instant Pot

Pressure cook: Securely close the Instant Pot lid and set it to pressure cook on HIGH for approximately 80 minutes, depending on the size of the brisket. The meat should become tender and easily shred.

Shred the beef: Once the pressure has naturally released, carefully remove the brisket from the Instant Pot. Use two forks to shred the meat into strands. It will be tender and easy to pull apart.

Reduce the sauce: If the sauce is too thin, switch the Instant Pot to the sauté function and let it simmer for a few minutes to reduce and thicken. This step enhances the flavours and creates a richer sauce. Add the shredded meat back in and heat through. All the meat to soak up the sauce for around 10 minutes before serving. Once you are at this stage you can make your pasta.

Serve and enjoy: Prepare your preferred pasta, such as pappardelle, following the package instructions. Then, ladle the beef brisket ragù over the cooked pasta and garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I like to sprinkle some finely grated lemon zest to give this ragu a wake-up call (see my optional extra garnish tips below).

Feel free to adjust the seasonings and ingredients according to your taste. Enjoy your homemade beef brisket ragù cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot!

How to make beef brisket ragu in the Instant Pot

The Difference between the Instant Pot Duo vs the Instant Pot Pro:

I have both the Instant Pot Duo and the Pro. For this recipe I have used the Pro.

The Instant Pot Duo is a versatile and budget-friendly option that offers a wide range of cooking functions and preset programs, making it suitable for everyday home cooking.

On the other hand, the Instant Pot Pro is a more advanced model with additional features such as a higher maximum pressure level, a redesigned display, and a cooking progress indicator.

It also includes more precise temperature control and a more user-friendly interface. The Instant Pot Pro caters to those who desire more precise cooking control and are willing to invest in extra features for an enhanced cooking experience. The Pro has heat-resistent handles on the inner pot which makes lifting out super easy.

Ultimately, the choice between the two models depends on personal preferences, cooking needs, and budget considerations., but I really love the Pro and think hte additional features make it well worth it.

The Instant Pot Pro on a table with beef briskt ragu

What’s the difference between beef ragu and Bolognese?

Beef ragù and beef Bolognese are both classic Italian meat-based sauces, but they have distinct differences in ingredients and cooking methods.

Beef ragù is a slow-cooked sauce that typically includes chunks or shredded beef, simmered with tomatoes, vegetables, herbs, and sometimes wine. It has a rich and hearty flavour, with the meat often falling apart and melding into the sauce. Ragù has a rustic and chunky texture, creating a satisfying mouthfeel. This sauce is perfect for those who enjoy tender pieces of beef in their pasta dishes.

On the other hand, beef Bolognese is a specific type of ragù that originates from Bologna, Italy. It traditionally uses finely minced or ground beef, combined with pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, milk or cream, and a hint of nutmeg. Bolognese requires a longer cooking time, allowing the flavours to meld and intensify. This slow simmering process results in a thick, meaty, and creamy sauce that beautifully clings to the pasta, creating a harmonious blend of flavours.

While both sauces showcase the deliciousness of beef, ragù tends to have a chunkier and more rustic texture, while Bolognese offers a smoother and creamier consistency.

Whether you prefer the hearty chunks of beef in a ragù or the creamy and velvety texture of Bolognese, both sauces bring their unique qualities to the table, providing a delightful and satisfying pasta experience.

A serving dish with shredded beef brisket ragu and sauce

How to Serve Beef Ragù

There are numerous delicious options to serve with beef ragù, allowing you to enjoy its rich flavours in various ways. For a traditional approach, try serving it over egg noodles, particularly long wide pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle, which beautifully
Holds the hearty sauce. Thinner noodles such as spaghetti or linguini will be too thin here.

If you’re looking for a healthier, low-carb twist, consider pairing beef ragù with veggie noodles made from zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. This adds a refreshing and lighter element to the dish while still providing a satisfying pasta-like experience.

Spoon beef ragu over spaghetti squash if you are lucky to live in a country that cultivates this delicious vegetable.

For those following a low-carb diet, cauliflower rice can be a fantastic alternative to traditional grains.

For a comforting and hearty combination, serve the beef ragù over polenta, allowing the creamy texture of the creamy polenta to absorb the flavours of the sauce.

If you prefer a starchier side, consider serving the ragù over rice or creamy mashed potatoes.

Instant pot beef ragu with pasta dished up on two plates

What to serve with beef ragu as a side dish?

Crusty Bread: Serve beef ragù with a side of warm, crusty bread to mop up the sauce (there is a lot)

Garlic Bread: Takes the bread on the side to another level of deliciousness. Check out my recipe for the Best garlic bread.

Green Salad: A simple green salad with a lemony vinaigrette balances the richness of beef ragù.

Two bowls of Instant pot beef ragu with pappardelle pasta

Can I freeze beef ragu?

Any leftover beef ragu can be frozen. To freeze beef ragù, allow it to cool completely, portion it into airtight containers or freezer bags, and store it in the freezer for up to three months.

Here are a few of my other Instant Pot recipes you might like

Instant Pot lamb shanks with red wine & rosemary

Gammon with ginger beer & rooibos

Confit duck legs with cherry sauce

Instant Pot caramel salmon

Instant pot cheesecake with caramel

You may also like:

Slow braised beef brisket ragu with pappardelle (oven version)

Osso bucco with risotto Milanese

A classic beef and mushroom pie

Instant Pot beef brisket ragu with Papardelle pasta on a table with the Instant Pot in the background

*Optional extra for the garnish – I love gremolata, but the lemon can be very strong for this dish, so a generous scattering of Parmesan and chopped parsley does the trick to finish it off. I do like a tiny grating of lemon zest too though so try this out and you will see what I mean.

You could also make a garnish by mixing a small bunch of chopped parsley with olive oil, a hint of chopped chilli and a tiny amount of grated lemon zest. A drizzle of this green sauce wakes everything up a bit but it’s entirely optional.

Add a pinch of red pepper flakes (chilli) to the onions if you like a bit of heat in your beef ragu.

Recipe – serve 10 (make your quantity of pasta accordingly)

Instant pot beef ragu with pasta

Enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal in under 2 hours with this mouth-watering Instant Pot beef brisket ragù recipe. Infused with rich tomato sauce and aromatic herbs, it's perfect for a family pasta night or cosy dinner. Cooked to perfection and ready to impress!
Print Recipe
A bowl of Instant pot beef ragu with pappardelle pasta
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 kg / 3lb – beef brisket trim any fat or sinew (use chuck roast as an alternative)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 100 gms streaky bacon finely diced
  • 2 medium brown onions finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds optional
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 x 400gms / 28oz can Italian chopped tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup 250ml red wine
  • 2 cups 500ml beef stock or beef broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves or 2 stalks added whole
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley 1 for cooking and 1 to serve
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
  • Pappardelle pasta 800gms / 28oz will feed 8 people


  • Cut the brisket into smaller pieces and season well with salt & pepper and remove from the fridge about an hour or 2 before cooking.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add a splash of olive oil to the bowl. When it is ready, brown the meat in 3 batches on all sides turning the meat as you go. As an alternative, brown the meat in a large frying pan.
  • Once brown, remove the meat, and set them aside.
  • Keeping the Instant Pot set to Sauté, add the bacon and cook for a minute. Then add the chopped onions, carrot and celery and cook until softened – about 6 – 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent them from going brown.
  • Add the fennel, garlic and tomato paste and cook briefly for about 30 seconds then add the red wine and allow this to reduce by a third.
  • Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes along with the sugar, chopped rosemary and parsley.
  • Once bubbling, add the meat back (and any juices that drained off). Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, stir, and bring everything to a bubble.
  • Close the lid and set the vent to SEAL.
  • Set the Instant Pot to manually cook HIGH pressure (take off the keep warm function) and set it for 1 hour and 20 minutes (a total of 80 minutes).
  • Remove the meat and shred it, then return this to the sauce in the instant pot and toss to soak in and combine. Allow a few minutes as the meat really soaks up the sauce.
  • The brisket ragu can be made in advance or the day before. Reheat either in the Instant Pot set to Sauté function or on the stovetop.
  • When you are ready to serve boil your tagliatelle or pappardelle for 5 – 6 minutes until al dente, strain and toss the ragu through the pasta.
  • Dish up the pasta and sprinkle over the remaining chopped parsley (optional), and a light spray of finely grated lemon zest (optional).
  • Grate over a generous amount of Parmesan cheese and enjoy.


Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.
Lightly sprinkle the finely grated zest of a lemon as an option.
The ragu can be made in advance and heated up just before serving either on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot set to Saute.
Servings: 10
Author: Sam Linsell


Disclaimer – This post is proudly sponsored by Instant Pot South Africa



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