Irish Waygu Ragù

11 Sep 2012

This week I am delighted to share two prized personalities in Irish food: Catherine Fulvio & Pat Whelan.

Catherine Fulvio has just released a gorgeous new cookery book, Eat Like An Italian: Recipes for the Good Life, which the postman delivered to the farm last week. In my estimation, I’ve made three stunning recipes already, so I am hoping we are all well on our way to la dolce vita.

Catherine grew up holding the apron strings of her mother who managed their guesthouse on the family farm. She continues her passion today at Ballyknocken Country House and Cookery School in the wilds of gorgeous County Wicklow, which has been in her family for more than 100 years. {If you are traveling to Ireland, book in and stay, I’ll come join you for a cookery class!}.

Catherine’s interest in Italian cooking may have something to do with the fact that her husband, Claudio, hails from Palermo, Sicily, and judging from her latest release, she certainly knows how to celebrate Italian food like a bonafide bella donna.  Catherine has presented two food programs for RTE, Catherine’s Italian Kitchen and Catherine’s Roman Holiday as well as appearing on NBC’s The Today Show in the USA. In person, she has a way of making you feel instantly at ease with her genuine warmth and girl-next-door nature. Her books and television programs convey that same welcoming feeling, leaving you yearning to sit down at her kitchen table for lunch and end up chatting all afternoon.

Pat Whelan is a fifth generation butcher from Clonmel, County Tipperary. Both his mother and father came from farming families, and the family business, James Whelan Butchers uses beef from its own farm where the cattle are grass-fed and then into their own private abbatoir. Pat explains “having our own farm, our own abattoir and our own shop to sell our beef, allows us to give people that essential element of trust that every consumer requires when they buy meat today in our store or order meats online.”

I count Pat as a friend and collaborator. We have worked together on several creative food endeavours and he is a featured artisan in my film, Food Island alongside his happy herd of Irish Waygu cattle. Pat is a butcher and businessman who has a big personality and is constantly thinking out-of-the box, yet always manages to be quietly composed, if not humble. He is considered to be an innovator and inspiration to many in food including Rick Stein, who lists Pat as one of his food heroes.

James Whelan Butchers is headquartered in Clonmel, County Tipperary and also recently opened a stunning boutique butcher shop in Avoca, Monkstown, Dublin.

In Eat Like An Italian Catherine Fulvio celebrates all that is great about Italian food and food culture with over 100 new recipes for la dolce vita complete with tips on introducing Irish artisan produce to each preparation as well. On the bottom of each recipe page there is a lovely footnote which includes a suggestion for a local Irish ingredient. In my case, her recipe for pappardelle with ragù was made impossibly delicious by using braised Waygu short ribs from Pat Whelan.

So go on, Waygu your ragù.

Pappardelle with Ragù

from Eat Like An Italian

extra virgin olive oil

75g pancetta diced

400g slow-roasted shoulder of pork (I used slow braised Waygu beef)

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

1 tsp dried oregano

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp tomato puree

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

275 beef stock

150ml red wine

salt and freshly ground black pepper

350g pappardelle

fresh basil leaves to garnish (I used fresh oregano leaves)

1. To make the ragù, heat a large saucepan with a little oil over a meduim heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it’s crispy and brown, then add the shredded pork (or substitute)

2. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery and oregano and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, stock, wine, and some salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until a thick ragù has formed. Season to taste.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

4. Add the cooked, drained, pasta to the ragù sauce and garnish.

Wherever you live, you can substitute a locally sourced ingredient…or just use the recipes as-is, they all look absolutely gorgeous.

Leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a spanking new copy of Eat Like An Italian. Will ship anywhere in the world. Best of luck!

Slan Abhaile,


Eat Like An Italian: Recipes for the Good Life is available in Easons and online at

Pappardelle photo by Imen McDonnell 2012

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43 Responses to “Irish Waygu Ragù”

  1. Pat says:

    I hope i’m not too late, this book looks awesome

  2. meredith says:

    I love italian food and would love to try these recipes for my family!

  3. Bernadette Reddy says:

    Would love to win this book. Look Italian food

  4. Caitriona says:

    I’m a huge fan of Pat Whelan’s. The standard of the meat that he supplies, along with the care in which he transports it puts his company miles ahead of most other butchers in Ireland. That ragu looks delicious.

  5. Catherine Jones says:

    This is on my wish list – would love to win!

  6. EJ Garvey says:

    I would love the chance of reading Catherine’s new book…and then cooking up an italian storm!

  7. Thanks for doing this giveaway – would love to try some of the recipes !!!

  8. Dawn says:

    Oh oh oh! Me me me!!

  9. Pat says:

    If i dont win this competiton im buying this book anyway…. Bellisimo !!

  10. Claire says:

    Would love a copy of this – it’s on my Christmas wish list! 🙂

  11. Susan says:

    I love your blog and get very excited when I get a new mail in my inbox informing me you have written a new post. I also like your commitment to good Irish produce – Ireland has so much to offer and its so great to see more of it now

  12. Maddie C says:

    This book would be lovely 🙂

  13. Katherine says:

    Sounds gorgeous!! I have both of Catherine’s previous books and love them, so I would love to enter for a copy of this please!

  14. Sarah says:

    My husband and I and 2 friends are coming to Ireland for the first time next month, will add this B&B to our list! The book looks lovely, I will have to look for it.

  15. Eimear D says:

    Italian food is my favourite. I would love to delve into this book 🙂

  16. Denis says:

    Makes my mouth water! Just back from a glorious Italian honeymoon where I sampled a similar pappardelle dish in Florence, on that occasion with a wild boar ragu. Can’t get enough of all things Italiano since, time for another caffé I think.

  17. Alexis Zimba-Kirby says:

    While I eat Americanized “Italian” food all the time – pizza, pasta, lasagna, etc – I hardly know anything about real Italian cooking. I’m sure this book would be used frequently!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Would love this book!

  19. imen says:


  20. Laura says:

    We are just finishing our first trip to Ireland. What delicious reasons you give us to come back!

  21. June says:

    Ohhh…Italia! How I love anything to do with Italy – especially the food! Thanks for giving us all the chance to enter into this great competition. I would love to have this cookbook – it’d take pride of place in my cookbook collection, especially as I am half Italian (Venice by way of Greece). Ciao!

  22. Kate says:

    I LOVE Pat’s Wagyu beef – it really is out of this world. I can’t wait to try this recipe, Imen, thanks!

  23. Niall Hayes says:

    Looks great!

  24. Ana says:

    Would love to make this particular ragu’ ! And might try also some other recipes…Makes me think of the term “Italo-Irish” cusine – find it fantastic combining old traditional know how from Italian cuisine with local produce in order to get an original (Italian) recipe with an Irish twist.

  25. Chiara says:

    15/20 minutes is too short, it takes at least an hour to make a good italian ragù….

  26. Alicia says:

    Yum! Thank you for introducing me to Catherine Fulvio since I’ve never heard of her before. This book looks lovely and I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking for a recipe such as this for a long time.

  27. cheri says:

    Great giveaway. I’d love to stay at her B & B and attend the cooking school.

  28. cheri says:

    Lovely giveaway, and her B&B and cooking school would be fabulous to attend. thank you.

  29. Ken McGuire says:

    Still have yet to try this Waygu beef everyone is raving about (particularly from Pat’s stock). Looks like a cracking way to be introduced to it!

  30. Edith says:

    Italian Cooking at its best, as it seems……definitely my favourite cuisine!!! And that dish looks divine 🙂

  31. Sophie says:

    Love Catherine Fulvio for introducing so many delicious Italian dishes to Ireland and doing it in such a simple and easy way that even i can attempt to make them. Italian Cuisine is my favourite by far!! 🙂

  32. Kieran says:

    Italian recipes with local ingredient sourcing suggestions.. an excellent excellent idea!!

  33. bebe says:

    Lovely prize… the perfect cookbook with the colder weather on the way, mmm…

  34. Lynsey Norris says:

    Massive Catherine Fulvio fan!! Please please please pick me x

  35. Emily O'Regan says:

    i love Catherines take on food she has some scrummy family orientated recipes and they are not arty or fancy she knows how to make thing simple and easy to follow, oh n having Whelans butchers on my doorstep makes my meat shopping some much easier

  36. Sarah Luke says:

    I love Italian food and Catherine make sit so accessible to everyone. Would love to get my hands on this book 🙂

  37. Kristin says:

    What other recipes did you make? I made the seafood lasagna on Sunday and it was a huge hit, little C practically licked his plate clean. I’m planning on making the chicken and orzo bake and the date and hazelnut stuffed pork tenderloin this week too.

  38. veru says:

    Very interesting recipe which is,by the way, not completely italian but asFulvio always says half irish and half italian. This is a “sort of ragù” but not a proper and really italian one. Love Pat Whelan meat, it adds something special to your dishes!!

  39. Katie says:

    I love Italian recipes made with simple ingredients that yield wonderful results, and this book sounds fantastic! I would love a copy – I’ll just have to figure out the metric measurements!

  40. Lorraine says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of Pat Whelan’s too! Seeing the passion he has for meat turned me from vegetarian of 18 years into a meat-eater again.

    • Susan says:

      This sounds like a wonderful recipe for a cool, fall day. I’ve made my shopping list and plan to make this over the weekend. Imen, I love your recipes and share them every chance I get. (The Smoky Porter Cake was a huge hit at my office lunch!)

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