The snowstorm that hit the northeast this past weekend was the perfect excuse to spend the day making a slow cooked meal. Not to mention that with Valentine’s Day, a special meal is in order.
Braised Beef Ragu, in a slow cooker
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (juices drained into a large measuring cup)
For a total of about 2 1/2 cups of liquid:
about 1 cup of juices from diced tomatoes
about 1 cup red wine
about 1 cup of beef stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves or 3 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 beef chuck roast (2-3 pounds, cut into two pieces)
Salt and pepper
2 lbs of long pasta
Garnish of ricotta cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and parsley
1. In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, combine diced tomatoes (drained), onion, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season roast with salt and pepper and place on top of onion mixture. Add liquid mixture.
2. Cover and cook on high until meat is tender and can easily be smashed/pulled apart with a fork, 4 1/2 hours (or 9 hours on low). Remove the meat from the slow cooker and cool for 10 minutes, and then shred meat in slow cooker with 2 forks.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta such as fettuccine or linguini.
4. Mix the shredded meat back into the sauce and warm through again. Top pasta with sauce, shredded parmesan and a dollop of ricotta cheese before serving.
I’ve also made this recipe on the stovetop using the exact same steps, with the 4 1/2 hour cooking time, simmered over a low flame. The result was just as fantastic, but it just requires an extra eye on the open flame while it cooks.
This sauce also gets better overnight for leftovers! While the recipe amount covers about 2 pounds of pasta, when I’m not expecting a crowd, I prefer to make one pound on the first night and cook more pasta as needed for leftovers.