Holy slow cooker yum. Who ever invented the slow cooker is a genius. Throw everything into a large ceramic dish, flick a switch and go to sleep or work and voila 8 hours later you have the most tender juiciest meat creation ready to serve. No fear of fire, burning, over flowing or overcooking. This beef ragu is going to be a crowd pleasure and sure to make you look like the fanciest chef in town. It is only the second day of winter and I have used my slow cooker TWICE!! The first creation was a chicken and corn immune soup >> recipe to come, to heal symptoms of the flu that came knocking as it ticked over to winter at midnight Sunday. And the second was this deliciously tender slow cooked beef cheek ragu that ended up being the main star of a VERY spontaneous dinner party.
SLOW COOKED BEEF CHEEK RAGU
Serves 4 – GF SF DF P – 8 hours
1kg beef cheeks, or other ‘cheaper’ cut of meat
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 red onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 bay leaves
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
2-4 anchovy fillets or 100g of pancetta
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup red wine
500ml of beef stock
4-6 zucchinis for the pasta
- Place the meat in a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil and season with 1 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Mix to distribute the oil and seasoning amongst all the meat.
- In a hot pan, brown both sides of the meat then place it in a large ceramic pot, or slow cooker.
- While the meat is browning, dice all veggies, and peel the garlic.
- In the same dirty pan that the meat was browned in, place all of the veggies, garlic and bay leaves.
- Sauté the veggies on medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add the anchovies or pancetta and stir through well.
- Make a hole in the veggies, and place the tomato paste directly into the bottom of the pan – let it cook until fragrant, then stir. Cook the veggies for a few more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
- Place all the veggies in the pot with the beef cheeks.
- Add the wine, beef stock or water, fresh herbs and seasoning
- Cook in the slow cooker (on medium if you have the option) or in the oven (if in ceramic pot) for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and break down the meat with a fork. Remove any bones and the bay leaves.
- Serve with fresh rye sourdough, parsley and basil over pasta or veggie spaghetti (zucchini grated into spirals). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.