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Braised Beef Ragu

Adapted from Little Spice Jar, modified for my slow cooker.

  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 8h
  • Total Time: 8h 30m
  • Serves: 8


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • chopped parsley for serving
  • 1 lb pappardelle
  • salt to taste
  • 3 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 large bunch of basil
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28 oz can dived tomatoes (fire roasted if available)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. additional beef broth
  • 1 c beef broth
  • 6 cloves of garlic, grated or pressed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lb beef chuck roast
  • grated parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Season both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, dutch oven over medium high heat. Add beef to pot and allow to sear on each side for 5 minutes. Remove beef and set aside.
  2. Add onions to the pot and let them sweat 4-5 minutes or until they are translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of beef broth. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of broth to a bowl with the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar and whisk to combine. Add the mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, fresh thyme, basil, sugar and red pepper flakes. Allow the sauce to simmer, stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Wipe the inside of your slow cooker pot down with olive oil and a paper towel. Put the chuck roast in the cooker then pour the tomato mixture over it, shifting the meat with a pair of tongs to get sauce under it. Put the lid on and set the temp to low - on mine the settings are 6, 8 or 10 hours. I set it on 10 hours and checked it at 8 - the meat easily shredded with 2 forks. I did not remove the meat to shred it. Stir to evenly distribute the meat throughout the sauce. Serve over pappardelle and sprinkle with parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

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