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Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu: A Hearty Italian Classic

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Indulge in the rich flavors of Italian cuisine with our Slow Cooker Beef Ragu recipe. This hearty dish features tender beef chuck roast simmered to perfection in a savory tomato-based sauce, infused with aromatic herbs and vegetables. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or a casual gathering with friends, this comforting meal will leave everyone coming back for seconds. Join us as we explore the simple steps to prepare this delicious Beef Ragu, along with some handy tips, variations, and keto-friendly options.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (optional)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Ingredients:
    • Trim any excess fat from the beef chuck roast and cut it into large chunks. Dice the carrots, onion, and celery. Mince the garlic cloves.
  2. Sear the Beef:
    • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the beef chunks with salt and pepper, then sear them on all sides until browned. Transfer the seared beef to the slow cooker.
  3. Combine Ingredients in the Slow Cooker:
    • Add the diced carrots, onion, celery, minced garlic, red wine, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  4. Cook the Ragu:
    • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours or until the beef is tender and falls apart easily with a fork.
  5. Thicken the Sauce (Optional):
    • If desired, mix cornstarch with water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking to thicken the sauce.
  6. Serve and Garnish:
    • Once cooked, remove the bay leaves from the ragu. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Serve the beef ragu over cooked pasta, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Slow Cooker Size: Ensure your slow cooker is large enough to accommodate all ingredients comfortably. If necessary, you can halve the recipe for smaller slow cookers.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to customize the ragu with additional vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini.
  • Wine Substitute: If you prefer not to use wine, you can omit it from the recipe or substitute it with an equal amount of beef broth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different cut of beef for this recipe? A: While beef chuck roast is ideal for slow cooking due to its tenderness, you can also use other cuts such as brisket or short ribs for equally delicious results.

Q: Can I make this recipe without a slow cooker? A: Yes, you can prepare this beef ragu on the stovetop or in the oven. Simply follow the same instructions, but adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.

Q: How should I store leftovers? A: Allow any leftover beef ragu to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze it for longer storage.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the beef ragu ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Q: Is this recipe suitable for meal prep? A: Absolutely! You can prepare a batch of beef ragu in advance and portion it into individual containers for easy meal prep throughout the week.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how you can adapt this recipe:

  • Keto Version: Omit the carrots and use a low-carb tomato sauce in place of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Serve the beef ragu over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice instead of pasta.
  • Low-Carb Version: Follow the keto version adjustments above and use beef broth with no added sugar to further reduce the carb content.

With its tender beef, flavorful vegetables, and rich tomato sauce, Slow Cooker Beef Ragu is a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or simply craving a hearty meal, this Italian-inspired recipe is sure to impress. So fire up your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a taste of Italy in the comfort of your own home!

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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