Brisket Ragu

Mariel here. That Beer-Braised Brisket I made last week? Well I finally finished it off. After transforming it into delicious little sliders, I explored my inner Italian and whipped up a homemade ragu that far exceeded my expectations since a) I’m not Italian and b) I don’t have much patience when it comes to letting flavors mature over a lazy flame. But since the brisket was so tender and well-marinated to begin with, it easily metamorphosized into a rich sauce that would make our fairy-nonna – otherwise known as Mrs. A – beam with pride.

As I had mentioned in last week’s post, I’m coming off of five weeks of grueling deadlines, so I’ve never been more grateful for a slab of red meat; this brisket got me through 7 day’s worth of dinners without ever feeling boring, bland or thrown-together. I highly recommend making Beer-Braised Brisket to anyone who has a life: once you’re finished with the prep – a protocol that entails little more than setting-it-and-forgetting-it – there’s no limit to what you can do with the leftovers. Case-in-point, the following recipe.

Serve this on top of whole wheat pasta, orzo or cannellini. It’s so thick and hearty, you could even pile it on a toasted bun and call it a Sloppy Joe. I’ll leave you to the tinkering.

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Brisket Ragu
Serves 6

2-2½ cups of leftover Beer-Braised Brisket, shredded – leftovers
¾-1 cup of leftover brisket sauce – leftovers
1 large sweet onion, chopped finely – $0.99
26-oz can of strained or crushed tomatoes (I used Pomi) – $2.79
1/3 cup red wine – stock
2 Tablespoons of olive oil – stock
1 Tablespoon butter – stock
¼ teaspoon salt – stock
2 Tablespoons brown sugar – stock
2 large cloves of garlic, minced – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $3.78
Cost per serving: $0.63

1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over high heat. Once hot, saute the onions and garlic until the onions start to caramelize and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

2. Add the wine and cook for 30 seconds, until it mostly burns off. Add the brisket, strained tomatoes, brisket sauce, salt and brown sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (uncovered) for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and reduce heat as necessary to keep from boiling. The salt will thicken considerably.

3. Before serving, season with salt and pepper, as needed. Garnish with fresh parmesan, if desired.


  1. Angie says

    This looks so good and comforting. It’s warm here though, I’ve pulled out the shorts already. Well I never really put them up.

    • feastonthecheap says

      Thanks so much, Barbara! but I must warn you – we’re actually going to post a TOTAL splurge later on this week. Have to live it up once in awhile and then get back to sanity, right!? So good to hear from you. Best, M & M

  2. says

    I’m just now discovering your blog. Loving the recipes and adding you to my reader for sure. As for this ragu – yes, please! I haven’t made a brisket in ages and that sounds like the perfect thing to make on a rainy, drizzly day – and we’re having lots of those lately!

    • feastonthecheap says

      We’re so happy you found us! If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask away! And you’re right, this has certainly been the wettest winter in recent memory. Wonderful to hear from you. Best, M & M

    • feastonthecheap says

      We’re so happy you were pleased with the brisket! Let us know how you and yours enjoy the ragu. Cheers! M & M

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