As the temperature drops outside, cooking styles move to heartier fare made with more robust flavours, including dark ales such as Stout.

This recipe is in essence an interpretation of a classic Italian ragu sauce, but substitutes stewing beef for ground beef and locally crafted Stout in place of red wine.

If you don’t have Stout on hand, just about any locally crafted dark malty brew will do.

Just try to avoid hoppy styles, such as IPA, as the beer may contribute an undesired bitterness to your sauce.

Pasta with Nova Scotia Stout Braised Beef Ragu

  • 6 Servings


  • 3 lb stewing beef, cubed
  • Flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups local Stout
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water or beef stock
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
  • 12 oz wide pasta noodles such as pappardelle
  • Parmesan, grated


Pat beef dry with paper towel. Dust with flour. Place large heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil. Working in batches sear beef until brown on all sides. When the beef is browned remove from pan and set aside.

Once all the beef has been sautéed reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Sauté vegetables until they are soft. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the beer, tomatoes, water and thyme leaves.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Let simmer for 2 hours. Remove beef from liquid and pull apart with a fork. Return beef to the liquid and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.

Cook pappardelle according to package instructions. Serve sauce over pasta and accompany with freshly grated parmesan.