This beef ragu can be easily made in the slow cooker. Just brown the beef on the stove top add it to the slow cooker with the other ingredients and let it simmer all day. This is a simple recipe that uses common ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand. This ragu gets a lot of its flavor from the classic onion, garlic, celery and carrot combination. The sauce is tomato based using both crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Once the beef chunks have finished cooking in the slow cooker, they are shredded and then returned to the sauce and it is pretty much ready to serve. The noodles are cooked and then tossed with the sauce in a pan. I like to serve this recipe with garlic bread. Enjoy.
2.5lb beef brisket or any slow cooking beef (cut into 4 pieces)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 onion (finely diced)
1 cup celery (finely diced)
1 cup carrots (peeled and finely diced)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 beef bouillon cubes
3 cups water
3 dried bay leaves
salt and pepper (to taste)
Pat dry the beef chunks and sprinkle them on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and sear each piece on all sides until browned (about 3 minutes total). Remove the beef chunks and place them into the bottom of a slow cooker.
Add garlic, onion, celery, carrots, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef bouillon cubes, water and dried bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours on low or until the beef pulls apart easily.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker onto a plate and shred using two forks. Return the beef to the slow cooker and mix well.
There are a couple of different ways to serve this ragu. The easiest way to just to toss the sauce with cooked spaghetti noodles and serve.
The second method is to place about 5 cups of the sauce into a large and deep fry-pan. Heat over high-heat while the pasta is cooking. Cook the spaghetti noodles in a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of salt according to package directions. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the noodles to the hot fry pan with the sauce. Add 1 cup of the pasta water and gently toss using two spoons for 1-2 minutes until the water evaporates and you have a thick sauce that coats the pasta.