Last weekend I spent some time with Donna Hay The New Classics and tried the slow-cooked beef ragu. Who knew that a chuck roast could be anything other than a pot roast? Cook it long enough with a can of tomatoes, wine, and broth, fork-shred the meat, and you have a sauce for pasta, polenta, or a good sandwich.
Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
serves 8–10; adapted from "Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu Pasta" in Donna Hay the New Classics
- 2–3 pound beef chuck roast
- 2 tbsp flour (semolina or all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2–3 tbsp olive oil or other high heat cooking oil
- 1 onion, halved and sliced ½-inch
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste Mutti tube
- 1 tbsp local honey
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth Pacific or Bare Bones
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, whole
For Serving: Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, sliced or grated
Cut chuck roast into 3 large pieces. Dust with flour and sprinkle with salt. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in stove-top safe slow cooker insert or large (8-quart) Dutch oven. Brown the beef on each side in the hot oil. Transfer beef to a plate.
Add additional 1 tablespoon oil to the slow cooker insert, heat over medium heat, then add sliced onion and garlic. Cook until softened, stirring now and then, about 5 minutes.
Increase heat to high, add the tomato paste and stir to cook a couple minutes. Stir in the honey, add the wine and cook for a couple minutes, stirring to deglaze the pan. Reduce wine by about half. Add the stock and can of tomatoes. Bring to boil. Add beef pieces back to slow-cooker insert and transfer to slow cooker base. Cover and set to cook 6 hours on High.
Alternatively, cook in covered Dutch oven, 350° for 2–3 hours.
Remove beef from liquid and shred with two forks, discarding any fat. Return meat to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve with hot pasta, polenta, or crusty bread.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- Cook the ragu a day or two ahead and put the pot in the refrigerator. The fat will harden as it cools and you can lift it off with a spoon and discard. Before serving, reheat the ragu then proceed with shredding the meat.