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Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

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This slow cooker beef ragu is a flavorful and comforting dish where shredded beef is simmered with crushed tomatoes until tender. Perfect for serving over pasta for a hearty, filling meal.

pasta with slow cooker beef ragu

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Imagine coming home after a long day to the intoxicating aroma of slow-cooked goodness filling your kitchen. That’s what you get with slow cooker beef ragu!

This dish is all about tender beef mixed with a delicious tomato sauce. It’s the kind of meal that’s just right for a quiet night at home, and the leftovers? They are fantastic!

But the best part? This slow cooker beef ragu recipe uses your crock pot to do all the work while you relax!

What is ragu?

Ragu sauce is a traditional Italian meat-based sauce typically made with shredded or ground beef, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and various herbs and spices, simmered to perfection. It’s rich, hearty, and often served over pasta or polenta.

Why I love this recipe

  • it’s ridiculously easy to make – just throw everything into the slow cooker and let it work its magic.
  • the flavors develop beautifully as it cooks, resulting in a sauce that’s rich, savory, and utterly irresistible.
  • leftovers taste even better the next day (if you can manage to have any leftovers, that is!)

Ingredients

  • beef roast
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • carrot
  • celery stalk
  • beef broth
  • crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta for serving – rigatoni, spaghetti
  • unsalted butter
  • parmesan cheese

Step by step

  1. In a slow cooker, add the diced onion, sliced carrot, sliced celery, and minced garlic.
  2. Cut the beef roast into 3-inch cubes and place them in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Pour the beef broth and crushed tomatoes over the beef. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over the mixture and give it a gentle stir to combine.
  3. Set the slow cooker to low heat and cook for 8 hours, allowing the flavors to meld together and the beef to become tender.
  4. Just before the cooking time is up, add the unsalted butter to the slow cooker and let it melt into the sauce. While the butter is melting, remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. Once the butter is melted, return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and stir to incorporate.
  5. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta once cooked.
  6. Plate the cooked rigatoni pasta and ladle the beef ragu sauce over the top. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley if desired.

Tips for best results

  • Use a good-quality beef roast for maximum flavor.
  • Don’t skip the butter at the end – it adds a richness to the sauce that’s out of this world.
  • For an extra depth of flavor, sear the beef cubes on all sides in a large skillet before adding them to the slow cooker.

Variations

You can play with this as a base recipe to experiment with the flavor to make it your own. Try experimenting with herbs like adding sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano, bay leaves, or a splash of a red wine like merlot or pinot noir.

Serving suggestions

While it’s perfectly satisfying on its own over pasta or polenta, you can never go wrong with a side of crusty homemade garlic bread or Texas toast to soak up all that savory sauce.

For a fresh contrast, a simple green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette will do the trick. And of course, don’t forget a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and parsley on top for an extra indulgence.

Storage

If you somehow manage to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop of in the microwave.

You can also freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw and reheat it gently on the stovetop.

If you try this recipe, please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!

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bowl of pasta with slow cooker beef ragu

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu


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  • Author: Melissa Riker
  • Total Time: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This slow cooker beef ragu is a flavorful and comforting dish where shredded beef is simmered with crushed tomatoes until tender. Perfect for serving over pasta for a hearty, filling meal.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 pound beef chuck roast
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 tablepsoon minced garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta for serving
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker, add the diced onion, sliced carrot, sliced celery, and minced garlic.
  2. Cut the beef roast into 3-inch cubes and place them in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Pour the beef broth and crushed tomatoes over the beef. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over the mixture and give it a gentle stir to combine.
  3. Set the slow cooker to low heat and cook for 8 hours, allowing the flavors to meld together and the beef to become tender.
  4. Just before the cooking time is up, add the unsalted butter to the slow cooker and let it melt into the sauce. While the butter is melting, remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. Once the butter is melted, return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and stir to incorporate.
  5. Cook the rigatoni pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta once cooked.
  6. Plate the cooked rigatoni pasta and ladle the beef Ragu sauce over the top. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley if desired
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 Hours
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian Cuisine

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 4003
  • Sugar: 37.7 g
  • Sodium: 4942.9 mg
  • Fat: 105.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 398 g
  • Fiber: 27.2 g
  • Protein: 347.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 879.7 mg

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