Ragu is one of those recipes that really showcases the beauty of Italian cooking: everyday ingredients, fast prep, long and slow cooking until you get a luscious dish that tastes like a million bucks.
This Crock Pot Shredded Beef Ragu recipe is based on the slow cooked ragu recipes of Italian greats such as Lidia Bastianich.
It’s every bit as luscious and comforting as you expect it to be. Packed with juicy tomato, soffritto flavor, and melt-in-your mouth shredded beef that swims in a savory tomato-based gravy that is perfect for crusty bread dips (just a suggestion, I’m not expecting you to actually do it…) Sautéed celery, carrots, onions, and garlic is called “soffritto” in Italian cooking. It’s a traditional base for many Italian dishes. The vegetables release their flavors and add an extra dimension to this dish. It’s NOT optional. There’s no making ragu without soffritto.
I like to serve this Crock Pot Shredded Beef Ragu with spaghetti but it is more commonly served with rigatoni or pappardelle because the shreds of beef “cling” better to the pasta.
This dish is seasonless — it’s perfect year round when you want something comforting and nourishing, and also festive enough to serve during the holidays.
A rich and easy melt-in-your-mouth pasta dinner. If this isn’t love, I don’t know what it is…
Crock Pot Shredded Beef Ragu Print this recipe!
Note. If at end the sauce is too thin, remove the beef before shredding, transfer the sauce to a pot and simmer until it reduces.
1½ lbs flank steak (or beef brisket or any other slow cooking beef), cut into equal 4 pieces
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28 oz / 800 gr) can crushed tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Pat beef dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in the slow cooker.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic, onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.
In a small bowl combine tomato paste and beef broth and pour over the beef.
Finally add crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, and fresh thyme.
Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
When done, discard the herbs, transfer beef to a cutting board, and shred using two forks.
Return shredded beef to slow cooker and stir with sauce.
Serve over pasta sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.
One serving yields 261 calories, 10 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs, and 33 grams of protein.