How to make slow cooker beef ragu

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Every country, every culture, every community and every family have their own unique versions of a traditional meat sauce. For some, this classic dish is dubbed a 'Beef Ragù', the literal translation of Ragù being 'a sauce made with meat and tomatoes'. There is a clear reason why this sultry sauce has been passed down from generation to generation, and once you try this incredible recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Ragù, you too will understand the magic of this meal.
Served simply over pasta, a beef ragù is perfect for slow cooking, as you can utilize the too-often-overlooked cuts of brisket or beef chuck, which tenderize beautifully over the course of the 7-hour cooking process. The types of dishes that tend to withstand the test of time and popularize across borders and cultures tend to be dishes that are as simple and inexpensive as they are delicious. Classic dishes such as this wholesome beef ragù offer up comfort and heartiness in every taste, and conjure incredible food memories within each bite; thus encompassing the true language of food.
Slow Cooker Beef Ragù
20 minutes
7 hours
7 hours + 20 minutes
2 lb (900g) brisket or beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
4 cloves garlic
2 onions, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 14oz (400g) cans diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons oregano
2 cups (453ml) beef stock
1 cup (227ml) water
¼ teaspoon flake salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
To Serve:
½ bunch fresh parsley
16oz cooked spaghetti
½ cup (113g) grated parmesan
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat and quickly sear the brisket pieces on all sides until browned. Remove from heat once browned and place into the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker.
Keeping the frying pan over a high heat, add in the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and celery, and saute until just softened. Pour a bit of beef stock into the pan to scrape up any bits that may have become stuck to the bottom, and then pour the veggies into the slow cooker.
Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, beef stock, water, black pepper, and flake salt.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Once cooked, use forks or a pair of tongs to shred the brisket into the sauce. Serve over spaghetti with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
Pro tip: For an even punchier sauce that will knock you off of your feet, once cooked in the slow cooker, remove the brisket pieces and shred them as instructed; however, this time, set them to one side before returning them to the sauce. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and add ¼ cup of red wine and simmer until the sauce has reduced by ⅓. Return the shredded beef to the sauce and enjoy!
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The veggies act as a delicious nest for beef to rest on while it cooks. They will not only add aromatics but will soak up the flavors of the beef. Capers and olives add depth in flavor while herbs will make your kitchen smell amazing!
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