For those of you that know me personally I openly admit that I love cooking in a slow cooker every now and then. The ease of letting it do the work for you, cooking meat to perfection low and slow while your busy hectic day goes about itself. It’s all about simplicity and taking one more thing off of your to do list after work. This Pappardelle with Italian Beef Ragu is the epitome of ease and comfort.
So now that I have proclaimed my love of slow cookers let’s get on with this amazing ragu shall we. Have you ever eaten at your favorite Italian restaurant and had a meat sauce so divine you could literally eat it every day! I had such a dish on one of my work trips back to Chicago last spring. I vowed to remake that tasty dish, but with the searing heat of the AZ summer it was not the opportune time to create a hearty meaty ragu. Now that it is colder here in AZ than NY (crazy right!) this dish found its way back onto my weekly menu.
This ragu is bold and flavorful while the meat shreds just perfectly and melts in your mouth. As an added bonus there is Chianti in this people!! What is there not to love about cooking with wine!
- 3 lbs- Boneless Beef roast or stew meat
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 handful each fresh rosemary and fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- ½ bottle Chianti
- 2 14 oz cans plum tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Pound fresh or dried pappardelle
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Chop onion, carrot and celery (classic Mirepoix mixture), mince garlic and chop rosemary and thyme place everything on the bottom of a slow cooker.
Cut roast into 2″-3″ cubes and brown them in olive oil in a frying pan over high heat in stages, don’t overcrowd the meat so it browns evenly. Add it to the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Off the heat pour wine into the frying pan and use a spoon to deglaze and scrape the delicious bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour the wine into the crock pot along with canned tomatoes.
Add the salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 10-12 hours.
In the last hour take the lid off and shred the beef with two forks, and a splash of water or wine if the meat is a bit dry.
At the end of cooking time stir in the butter.
Before serving cook your pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
Combine ⅓ of beef ragu with hot pasta and toss gently to incorporate and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Tip: Any left over Ragu can be frozen for future use.
Adapted from Vikalinka