Crockpot Ragu | Quick & Easy | Family Friendly | Dinner Party | Minimal Ingredients
When I tell you this is the easiest dump and go, feed a crowd, family-friendly, comfort food- I am not joking. I made this as a housewarming dinner for my brother and sister-in-law. They invited us over on a Friday night, where I knew I would not have enough time to throw something flavorful and delicious together while working my regular 9-5 job. Before I left for work, I threw everything into the crockpot and went on with my day. When I got home for the night all I had to do was shred the beef, pour in the remaining pasta sauce, and throw the crockpot into the car to head over for dinner! The thing that took the longest active time to make was the noodles, and we all know how long that takes! It's truly no time before this comes together! This ragu tastes like you have been standing over the stove for hours on end when in reality, it requires minimum effort for maximum flavor! Have I sold you yet? You HAVE to try this quick and easy, family-friendly, minimal ingredient, dump and go dinner party crockpot ragu! Eat it on its own for a delicious keto and paleo comfort food, with noodles, mashed potatoes, or polenta for the perfect Sunday night dinner- the options are endless! Keep reading to see how simple this recipe truly is!
Ingredient Breakdown for Crockpot Ragu
Beef Brisket or any other shreddable slow cook beef (ex. chuck or rump roast)
2 jars of marinara sauce- I used Rao's because I know (and can pronounce) all the ingredients are! You could also use two large cans of tomato sauce for this recipe- you'll save a few bucks that way but I felt like
Mirepoix- a mirepoix is a combination of onion, celery, and carrots! It's used as the base of many soups and sauces! It's a tried and true blast of flavor (and truthfully the only time I will willingly eat celery) You can usually find a pre-packaged, pre-chopped mirepoix at the grocery store so you aren't stuck buying a whole bag of carrots or celery!
Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper
These suggestions are TOTALLY OPTIONAL, the below recipe does not include these flavor enhancements, only the basic recipe that will give you an insanely delicious Ragu on its own. If you're feeling fancy, have extra time, or want to try something new here are my few suggestions:
Salt the beef beforehand! You've heard me say it before and I will say it a million more times until I am dead. I usually try to salt my beef (any cut of beef!) at least a few hours before I am going to start cooking it- and if I have my life together, I will salt it the night before and let it chill in the fridge. Salting beforehand allows for the meat to be fully seasoned from the inside out, rather than just on the outside where all the middle deliciousness misses out on the flavor! It also helps break down the inner membranes and is an insanely effective way to tenderize your meat. It produces the most tender, juicy, and fully flavored meat.
Sear the beef before putting it in the crockpot! This helps all the juices stay inside the meat for a longer amount of time. It creates a sealed barrier to let the juices flow inside of the meat rather than seeping out!
Sautee/toast your spices before adding them! I've heard different things- sautee them in a dry pan or in a little bit of oil. This helps them bloom and really open up to allow for the most flavor impact possible! I threw the Italian seasoning on a lightly oiled pan and cooked for a minute or two until super fragrant- it is a game-changing hack! Try it! You will definitely notice a difference!