Sunday, December 15, 2013

Red Wine Beef Ragu

     Gotta love slow cooker weeknight dinners.  With just a little prep on Sunday, you'll come home to a ready-for-the-table meal on Monday after work! 

     Here's a great do ahead tip:  Freeze the ragu for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Reheat in a large saucepan, covered, over medium heat, about 10 minutes.

Red Wine Beef Ragu

1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 C red wine
Kosher salt and pepper
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1-1/2 lb. lean beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
12 oz. pappardelle or other wide noodles
1/2 D fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 C grated Parmesan OR Romano cheese

In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, whisk together the crushed tomatoes, red wine, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Add the whole tomatoes, breaking them up with the spoon.  Stir in the garlic, carrots, onion and rosemary.

Add the stew meat and turn to coat.  Cook, covered, until the beef is cooked through and shreds easily, 6-8 hours on low OR 4-5 hours on high.

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Remove and discard the rosemary.  Skim any fat that has risen to the top.  Using a fork, break the meat into smaller pieces, then stir into the cooking liquid; fold in the parsley.  Serve the beef ragu over the pasta and sprinkle with the Parmesan/Romano.

Serves 4

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