• Beef ravioli in broth (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

I love cooking and eating beef broth, there is something deeply satisfying about that flavour-packed, clear brown liquid. 






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (48 votes)

I swear I can feel broth nourishing my body. To turn it into more of a meal, roll out these homemade ravioli and cook them in the broth along with some fresh greens and herbs.



  • 1 kg beef bones
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ head garlic
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Ravioli dough

  • 400 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs


  • 250 g high-quality beef mince
  • ½ brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

To finish

  • 2 cups baby English spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp chives, finely snipped
  • 50 g parmesan, shaved

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 1 hour

For the broth, you’ll need to make it at least a day before the meal itself.

Preheat the oven to 220˚C.

Place the bones on a flameproof oven tray and roast for 20 minutes, then add the vegetables and roast for 20-30 minutes. The bones and vegetables should be nicely browned and aromatic. Remove from the oven and use tongs or slotted spoon to transfer the bones and veggies to a slow cooker.

Pour off any excess oil or fat from the tray, then place the tray on the stove over medium heat. Pour a little water in and use a wooden spoon to scrape off any flavour-packed crusty bits from the bottom. Carefully pour the water from the tray into the cooker.

Add the 2 litres water, along with the bay, thyme, peppercorns and vinegar and cook on low for 24 hours.

Skim any impurities from the surface, then carefully ladle the stock through a fine sieve. Allow the stock to cool room temperature, then refrigerate until needed.

For the filling, add a little oil to a large frying pan over high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes so that it’s nicely browned, then turn the heat down to medium, add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool and then stir through the egg and parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper. 

For the ravioli dough, pour the flour into a pile on a clean bench. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it, then use a fork to steadily mix the eggs and incorporate the flour into the dough. Once the dough is too stiff to whisk with the fork, start kneading with your hands. Knead for around 5 minutes - the dough should be smooth and a little tacky. If it’s too dry, wet your hands with water and continue kneading. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour to your bench and keep kneading. Once you’re happy with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once the dough is rested, cut it into quarters, then start working it through a pasta machine. Start on the thickest setting and run the dough through the machine, gradually working to the second thinnest setting. Lay the dough onto a lightly floured bench and spoon tablespoons of the filling at 5 cm intervals down one long side of the dough. Next, use a pastry brush to moisten the dough around the filling, then fold the dough in half so that the filling is covered, being sure to push down around the filling to ensure a seal and push out any air pockets. Next use a knife or ravioli cutter to cut out the individual ravioli. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

To serve, bring the broth to the boil in a large saucepan, add the ravioli and cook for 3-4 minutes. At the last minute, add the spinach to wilt it. Spoon the broth and ravioli into bowls and finish with the chives and shaved parmesan.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Louise Page. Creative concept by Belinda So.


Paul West is the host of River Cottage Australia, on SBS and on SBS On Demand. For more recipes from Paul, click here.