Explore Main Courses Noodle and Pasta Recipes

BEEF RAGU

Served with beef ragular (slow cooker) and pappardelle pie in the Crockpot. Full of flavor, comfortable Italian-inspired food.


Ingredients

  • 2.8 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 6 large equal pieces
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 3 cups mirepoix (diced onion, carrots, celery — I use a cup of each)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup 100% grape juice
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (I HIGHLY recommend Muir Glen Organic fire-roasted crushed tomatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 large beef bouillon cube**
  • 3 packages (8 ounces EACH) pappardelle pasta (I recommend DeLallo’s brand)
  • Reserved pasta water
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese and finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place chuck roast on a cutting board and dab both sides with a paper towel. Cut the roast into 6 even pieces and generously salt and pepper all sides. I use almost a full tablespoon salt and about 1 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Warm 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or oven-safe heavy-bottomed pot) over medium-high heat. Once you can feel the heat when you hold your hand 6 inches above the pot, place the roast pieces in the pot. Brown the pieces on all sides for 3 minutes TOTAL. To get a good sear don’t overcrowd the meat, you can sear the meat in batches). {Don’t skip this step. We are adding layers of flavor here.} Once the meat is nicely seared with a good crust, remove it from the Dutch oven and place it in your slow cooker. (Use a 5 quart or larger slow cooker).
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Next, add in the carrots and celery and saute, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat up to high, add grape juice, and scrape any browned bits up. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes and then pour the juice and veggie mixture into the crockpot. While the veggies are simmering, you can add in everything else to the crockpot: the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, bay leaves, and beef bouillon cube.
  5. Cover the crockpot and cook on low heat (high is not recommended) for 6 – 8 hours (the meat is perfect right around 7-7.5 hours — tested in both of my crockpots). Remove beef and shred with 2 forks then return to crockpot.
  6. Adjust the meat sauce’s seasoning to your taste with salt and pepper. Cover and place on warm OR cover and store in the fridge overnight (if you’re making this ahead of time).
  7. WHEN READY TO SERVE: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and then add the pappardelle pasta* (see note). Cook according to package instructions but do NOT drain! Right before the pasta is done cooking, remove 1 cup of the pasta water.
  8. Meanwhile, place about half of the meat sauce in a very large pan. Put over high heat. Once the pasta is cooked, use tongs to grab it straight from the pot and add to the pan. Toss the pasta with the meat sauce slowly adding in the reserved pasta water as needed (I’ll use anywhere from 1/2 cup to the full cup).
  9. Toss everything until you’ve got a thick ragu that coats the pasta and the pasta water has evaporated. Serve immediately topped with fresh parsley as desired and plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

 

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