Living in Victoria you really need a slow cooker. In the middle of winter, there’s nothing better than a slow cooked meal. Plus the smell of something delicious cooking is just so, so yummy! This year I’m on a bit of a mission to use my slow cooker more. I swear that every single time I make something in it, I wonder why I don’t use it more. You just chuck everything in, leave it for ages and end up with the yummiest dinner ever. Love, love, love that!
I bought my slow cooker about 10 years ago when I was at uni and Dave and I had just started renting our first house. I remember putting it on lay-by at Target and paying it off bit by bit. I was so excited when I finally got to pick it up! There’s nothing like being a broke uni student and working your butt off to buy something! Anyway, a few weekends ago, I grabbed my slow cooker out of the cupboard for the first time this year and started off with one of my favourite recipes.. Slow Cooker Italian Beef Ragu Pasta. Mmm I do love my pasta. This dish has the most beautifully, rich tomato based sauce, beef that literally melts in your mouth and of course a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This is comfort food at it’s best.
Lots of recipes for beef ragu say to sear the beef in a frying pan before popping it into the slow cooker. But seriously, who on earth can be bothered doing that? The whole point of a slow cooker is to have a quick and easy dinner with the least amount of fuss possible! For this recipe, I just pop everything into the slow cooker, turn it onto high for 8 hours, give it an occasional stir every few hours (if I remember!) and that’s it. Oh and you do need to cook the pasta too of course, but that’s easy! If you aren’t a pasta fan, you could easily use polenta or mashed potato instead. Both are yummy and very winter-comfort-food-friendly.
This yummy Slow Cooker Italian Beef Ragu can be frozen in an airtight container once it has cooled. Perfect for those cold winter nights when you need an instant dinner! Do you have a slow cooker too? What’s your favourite slow cooked dish? Tell me, tell me, tell me… because I’m already running out of ideas (and Winter has only just started!!).
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
- 1kg beef chuck roast, beef brisket or beef solar blade
- 1 X 400g can of diced tomatoes
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to season
- 2 cups beef stock
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, crushed (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian herbs - such as rosemary, parsley, oregano
- Cooked rigatoni or pappardelle pasta to serve
- Grated parmesan cheese, to serve
- Thinly slice the onion and place into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Lay the beef on top.
- Pour over the can of diced tomatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the beef stock.
- Mix together the red wine, tomato paste, garlic and fresh herbs.
- Pour over the top.
- Mix together with a spoon.
- Cook on high for 6-8 hours, gently stirring every couple of hours.
- *If you notice the mixture becoming to dry, add a tiny bit more water.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain.
- Stir the beef ragu gently with a spoon to shred the beef.
- Add 1 cup of the ragu (including the sauce) to the drained pasta and mix to combine.
- Divide the pasta between the bowls, top with the Italian beef ragu.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.