Slow Cooker Beef and Onion Ragu
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 1 celery stalk, finely grated
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons dry herb mix
  • Beef chuck (1½ - 2 lbs)
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup dry red wine (plus ⅛ - ¼ cup more to add at the end of cooking, optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • ½ Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1¾ - 2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • fresh herbs, to garnish
  1. Place the onions, carrot, celery and garlic in the bottom of a slow cooker. I minced the onions and garlic into tiny pieces and grated the carrot and celery on the small holes of a grater because they will almost melt into the sauce. You can also use a food processor to pulse them into a similar size. If you cut the vegetables into larger pieces, you might want to blend them in a blender after they are cooked to have a saucy consistency. Season with salt, pepper and dry herbs. Mix to combine. Use any herbs and spices that you like.
  2. Dry the beef on a paper towel. Season liberally with salt, ground black pepper and ground coriander on all sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet on high heat until shimmering. Brown the beef on both sides.
  4. Searing the beef will add tons of flavor to this dish. In my opinion, you can't toss in raw meat and raw vegetables into the slow cooker and expect great results. The flavor will be on the bland side. Whenever I use the slow cooker, my general rule of thumb is to sear the meat or sauté the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker.
  5. Nestle the browned beef on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  6. You can also cut the meat into smaller portions, instead of keeping it in one piece. The meat will cook faster if the meat is smaller.
  7. In the same skillet, add the flour and tomato paste and whisk them into the pan drippings. You will get the most use of that fond at the bottom of the skillet and add some thickness to the sauce by adding some flour. It may not look pretty, but it sure adds a lot of awesome depth of flavor.
  8. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and gradually pour in the beef or chicken broth, whisking to make it smooth. Bring to a boil and add the soy sauce. (You can also add some Worcestershire sauce).
  9. Pour it into the slow cooker on top of the beef.
  10. Cook, on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 6-9 hours, until the beef is fork tender. Take the beef out of the cooking liquid and shred with a fork into bite sized pieces.
  11. Skim excess fat off the top of the liquid and discard. Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan, bring to a boil. Cook on high heat until the liquid is reduced and has thickened. Add ¼ cup more red wine at the end to brighten up the flavor. Return the beef to the sauce. You can also add a splash of heavy cream, 1-2 Tablespoons of butter or a spoonful of sour cream to the sauce at the end for a creamy, velvety texture. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with noodles, pasta, rice or potatoes.
  12. To freeze, store the cooked beef with the sauce in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer. Thaw and reheat to serve.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at