You know how, despite your best efforts, you get stuck in ruts? For me, mealtime planning can become the ruttiest of ruts, and before I realize it, we’ve eaten spaghetti, tacos, or chicken for weeks. The thing is, it’s easy to make dishes I know everyone will eat, and trying new recipes takes foresight, and often, an extra trip to the store.
I ask you, who has time for that?
Despite my best efforts, it appears we’re becoming “busy” people. My seven-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son are active in scouting, and they both play a sport most seasons. My son participates in our town’s gifted program, which is an after-school commitment, once or twice a week. We haven’t crossed into “over-scheduled” yet, but we’ve got something pretty much every night, and for a homebody like me, that’s a lot.
I don’t want to spend my limited time at home with the kids in the kitchen, even though I enjoy cooking.
That’s one of my favorite things about Crock Pot Thursday. I love that my mother-in-law, my three sisters-in-law, and I take turns choosing our weekly recipe, because we get to try new dishes. I love that my slow cooker is doing the heavy lifting of mealtime while I’m at work, or talking to the kids about their day, or shuttling them around town. I love that my husband, who sometimes works late, still gets a hot meal even when he’s eating two hours later than the rest of us.
This Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu is a dish that is right up my family’s alley, but is one I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own, so big thanks to my husband’s sister, Sarah, for picking this winner. I was able to whip it up before work, even though the browning step took a little longer than I would have liked, and resulted in my showing up to work with a messy ponytail. You can skip that step if you’re pressed for time, but I don’t recommend it. The frying of the meat before slow cooking really adds depth of flavor to the dish. It’s worth the messy ponytail is what I’m saying.
Whenever I make the effort to try new recipes, I’m happy I did. I hope you’ll try this one, and I hope it makes your belly as happy as it did ours!
Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu can be served with pasta, with cornbread, or over polenta. I topped ours with Parmesan cheese and parsley. YUM!
Crock Pot Braised Beef Ragu
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2½ to 3 lbs beef roast (rump or round)
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
- ½ cup red wine (beef broth can be substituted)
- 3 TBSP tomato paste
- 1½ tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper, more to taste
- Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for serving.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add beef roast, and brown on all sides.
- Place browned roast in slow cooker, and add remaining ingredients with it.
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours, or until beef shreds easily.
- Remove beef to cutting board to shred with two forks, and return shredded meat to slow cooker (or you can shred it right in the pot).
- Stir shredded meat into sauce, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
This was a real hit. When I took out the meat to shred, I used an immersion blender to smooth the ragu. I served it over cornbread the first night, and the leftovers over egg pappardelle noodles. That was really good also, but the corn flavor did add a great extra zest. I thought this was a great way to use a roast in a new and unique way!
Our family ate this with cornbread and thought it was delicious! The flavors were great and it was a yummy way to use a roast!
The flavors of this dish were fantastic! I served mine over noodles, but cornbread sounds great.
Recipe modified from Pinch of Yum.