This is the ultimate in comfort food and it’s a recipe that I keep coming back to time and time again.
Rich, hearty, filling, and warm.
It is one of those rare, foolproof, and versatile recipes that can be served in your pjs on a cold night or for the most elegant of occasions.
It is also incredibly easy as you can just throw everything in the crock pot in the morning and forget about it.
The finishing touches come together in less than 10 minutes.
Best Recipe Ever!!!
Red Wine Braised Beef Ragu
It is considered best practice to sear your meat prior to placing in the crockpot but I must admit that this busy momma typically skips that step. So sear it if you wish…or don’t.
When I told you this recipe was easy, I wasn’t kidding.
Just place a TBSP of olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot, top with the chuck roast and throw all the rest of the ragu ingredients on top.
Cook on low for about 10 hours or until the beef shreds easily. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves from the ragu or that could be an unpleasant surprise to your unsuspecting guest!
Shred the beef, give the ragu a good stir, and continue to cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
The Cheesy Polenta (or Grits)
Meanwhile, make the polenta. Polenta is cornmeal that has been thickened in boiling water. It can be served in porridge form or it can be molded, cooled, and hardened into a loaf that can later be fried or grilled.
Just add the cornmeal SLOWLY to salted, boiling water while whisking briskly. The brisk whisking will prevent a lumpy polenta.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes until thickened. Add the butter and cheese and stir until melted and creamy. Quick, right?!?!
Serve the red wine braised ragu on a bed of creamy, cheesy polenta or…
with Parmesan grits with freshly shaved Parmesan on top. The grits and polenta are very similar in the way they are made. I’m actually not sure which way I prefer. Which way do you prefer? Comment and let me know!
Red Wine Braised Beef Ragu With Cheesy Polenta
Red Wine Braised Beef:
- 2.5-3 lb boneless chuck roast
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil divided
- 1/2 large onion minced or pureed
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
- 1/3 cup red wine (I used a Chardonney)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 tsp dried basil
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup polenta (or grits)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter
- 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- Place 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of the crock pot.
- Place the beef chuck roast in the Crockpot. For best results, sear the chuck roast in a little bit of olive oil prior to placing in the crockpot, about 5 minutes each side, however this step is optional.
- Puree 1/2 large onion in a food processor with 1 tbsp olive oil and pour over chuck roast.
- Next add both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, salt, and spices/bay leaves to the Crockpot.
- Cook on low heat for 9-10 hours, until the beef is tender and shreds easily.
- Pull out the bay leaves.
- Shred the beef.
- Continue to cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
- While the beef continues to braise, bring 4 cups water with salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
- Slowly add the polenta, whisking continuously to incorporate and prevent lumps.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the polenta has thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add butter and cheddar cheese. Place desired amount of polenta on a plate and top with the beef ragu.