Friday, January 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Julia Child Cooking Tip
Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Cook's notes:
Slow cooked fall-apart beef in a tangy tomato sauce. I call it comfort food. I always love the way a dish can develop in flavour so much, simply by leaving it to slowly cook away while you can do other things. You can cook the ragu in the oven too if you don’t have a slow cooker at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. 

Ingredients
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 TB. fresh rosemary (chopped) or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 TB. fresh thyme (chopped) or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 3 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth-low sodium
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 TB. pearl barley
  • 3 TB. tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) Plum tomatoes
  • 12 ounces pappardelle pasta, rigatoni or polenta
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
Directions:
  • Add the onion, minced garlic cloves, carrots and celery to the bottom of a slow cooker set to low.
  • Sprinkle the fresh or dried rosemary and thyme over the top of the vegetables.
  • Dredge beef cubes in flour, season the beef with the salt and pepper and brown cubes in olive oil in a frying pan over high heat in stages, don't overcrowd the meat so it browns nicely. Add seared cubes to the vegetables.
  • Off the heat pour wine into the frying pan and use wooden spoon to loosen all the delicious bits from the bottom of the pan, that's where much of the flavour is concentrated. Cook on low until wine has been reduced by half. Pour the wine into the crock pot along with canned tomatoes and beef broth.
  • Sprinkle barley all over the beef mixture which adds texture and more flavour to your ragu, not to mention fibre and nutrients.
  • Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  • Remove meat and shred using two forks.
  • Serve it on top of creamy polenta, tossed with cooked rigatoni or papparadelle pasta.
  • Use a ladle to pour the sauce from the crock pot over the beef.
  • Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!


that the Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago, under the leadership of Irving Naxon, developed the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker. Naxon was inspired by a story his Jewish grandmother told about how back in her native Lithuanian shtetl, her mother made a stew called cholent, which took several hours to cook in an oven. The Rival Company bought Naxon in 1970 and reintroduced it under the Crock-Pot name in 1971. 
Slow cookers achieved popularity in the US during the 1970's when many women began to work outside the home. They could start dinner cooking in the morning before going to work and finish preparing the meal in the evening when they came home. In 1974, Rival introduced removable stoneware inserts making the appliance easier to clean. The brand now belongs to Sunbeam Products.
Crock-Pot or Slow Cookers seem to be making a comeback the past few years. 

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