Oh man. You know that feeling of total oblivion, the blissful interlude between heaven and reality?
This is how I feel every time I sink my teeth into a forkful of warming, rich and fragrant beef ragu.
It is one of those meals that make an ordinary dinner feel like a special occasion. And after you have had beef ragu, you will want to slow cook everything! The way the meat can be pulled apart with a fork, the depth of the flavours and how the sauce is the perfect consistency to stick to zucchini noodles or pasta.
Want to know the best thing about this recipe?
It’s easy! Yep. This slow cooked beef ragu recipe requires minimal preparation, and can be left to cook all day while you go about your business and will be waiting for you when you arrive home from a busy day at work. Who could argue with that?!
In this recipe, I have given options to use either a slow cooker or ceramic/stainless steel pot with a lid. If you’re using a pot, pre-heat and cook in the oven at 160C. If you are using a slow cooker that has variable temperature settings, choose medium/moderate.
A Family Fave…Slow Cooked Beef Ragu Recipe
Total Time: 6 hours minutes
Servings: Serves 4
- 1kg beef cheeks, or other 'cheaper' cut of meat
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 red capsicum, diced
- 2-4 anchovy fillets (salt reduced), or 100g of pancetta
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 cup red wine, or 2tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 500ml of beef stock or water
- Remove any fat or gristle from the meat. If using meat that has bones intact (i.e. osso buco) the bones can be removed after cooking.
- Place the meat in a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil and season with 1 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Mix to distribute the oil and seasoning amongst all the meat.
- In a hot pan, brown both sides of the meat then place it in a large ceramic pot, or slow cooker.
- While the meat is browning, dice all veggies, and peel the garlic.
- In the same dirty pan that the meat was browned in, place all of the veggies, garlic and bay leaves.
- Sauté the veggies on medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add the anchovies or pancetta and stir through well.
- Make a hole in the veggies, and place the tomato paste directly into the bottom of the pan - let it cook until fragrant, then stir. Cook the veggies for a few more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
- Place all the veggies in the pot with the beef cheeks.
- Add the wine, beef stock or water, fresh herbs and seasoning
- Cook in the slow cooker (on medium if you have the option) or in the oven (if in ceramic pot) for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and break down the meat with a fork. Remove any bones and the bay leaves.
- Serve with fresh parsley and basil over pasta or veggie spaghetti (zucchini grated into spirals).