Why I love this slow cooker beef ragu
The sauce is very similar to a bolognese sauce, made with a mirepoix base, but it’s takes it to a whole new level by adding the slow cooked breakdown of a perfectly marbled chuck roast and a complex red wine (or beef broth if you don’t have it on hand).
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
How to make beef ragu in the slow cooker
I like to liberally season my meat before I do. And, I’m not just talking about a sprinkle of salt and pepper. I like to create a pretty decent crust with the salt and pepper before searing it in a skillet over high.
The breakdown of the marbling (i.e. fats) takes a while, so don’t rush the recipe or you’ll end up discarding fatty bits when you’re shredding.It’s not a big deal if you do, but you want to avoid it as much as possible because all of that fat adds flavor to the sauce.
Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and mix back into the sauce.
FAQs and tips for making the best beef ragu sauce
Bolognese differs from ragu because it typically uses white wine and milk along with the meat and vegetables used in ragu. This ragu recipe uses red wine and doesn’t include cream or milk.
I like to serve my ragu with a long, flat pasta such as pappardelle or fettuccini, but it will work with any pasta you chose.
The best beef for slow cooking is a tougher, fatty cut of meat. The meat cooks wonderfully in the slow cooker, breaking down the toughness and fats to create a tender, flavorful dish.
Yes you can put raw beef into the slow cooker, but it’s best to sear it before adding it to the slow cooker to increase the flavor of the overall recipe.
Absolutely, beef ragu should cook for 5 – 6 hours on high in the slow cooker.
- Salt & black pepper
- 2 pounds chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 3/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine (or beef broth)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- Season beef liberally with salt & pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium-high. Add to skillet and sear both sides until they easily release from pan.
- Transfer to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours (or high for 6 hours).
- Category: Mains
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 141
- Sugar: 4.1 g
- Sodium: 377.7 mg
- Fat: 5.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 16.4 g
- Cholesterol: 44.6 mg
Keywords: easy, dairy free, slow cooker
Published: December 13, 2017. Updated: November 4, 2021.
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