Slow Cooker Beef Ragu as seen on The Rhode Show

October 23, 2015

I love cooking on The Rhode Show and have been really lucky to get asked back a few times! This morning I showed Michaela and Will how to put together a delicious slow cooked beef ragu.

After getting over my initial panic that tomato sauce + white t-shirt + forgotten apron = messy Holly, everything went pretty well, and if the clean plates of the cast and crew after filming were anything to go by, the dish tasted pretty darn good!

It's a perfect recipe for this time of year, it's comforting, versatile, (and with the help of a slow cooker) really simple to make.

Slow cookers are really good value kitchen appliances. A non programable one, with just a low or high setting can be picked up for under $20, whereas the programable timer models start at around $40. 


Bottom round roast cut of beef 2 – 2.5lb
1 red onion
3 large cloves of garlic
28oz crushed tomatoes
1 glass red wine, about 200ml
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper


Heat a heavy frying pan on a high heat, brown each side of the meat really well, paying special attention to the fat side.

Finely slice the onions and garlic, lay them in a layer at the bottom of the slow cooker.

When the beef is browned all over, remove it from the pan and place it on top of the onions. Turn out the heat under the frying pan then pour in the red wine. It will sizzle, this will help burn off some of the alcohol content quickly before it mellows in the slow cooker.

Mix the canned tomatoes, reduced wine, herbs and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper together then pour over the beef in the slow cooker.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to cook on LOW for 10 hours.

The finished ragu can be served as it is, over parmesan polenta or pasta; or enhanced with beans and spices to make a rustic chili; layered with pasta sheets and béchamel for a lasagna; or mixed with vegetables and topped with potatoes to make a hearty cottage pie.


Eeeeeek, so I managed to do the whole show without spilling anything on myself, cutting or burning myself (or anyone else for that matter), but I did make a little slip up when chatting about the polenta.

Use about 1 QUART (4 cups) of water, per CUP of polenta, not the cup to cup ratio I said on't telly... whoops.


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