Slow Cooker Sunday: Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favorite type of slow cooker recipe is the dump it in and forget about it kind. This beef ragu is just that. I added all of my ingredients to my slow cooker…

Set it to cook on low for 7 hours, shredded the meat, added it to some cooked pasta…

And had a delicious meal to pack for lunch.


Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle


1 lb. beef chuck roast

1 15oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary

1 3-inch piece of Parmesan rind

Kosher salt

Black pepper

12 oz. fresh pappardelle


Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a slow cooker and whisk together. Add the rosemary spring and Parmesan rind. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Shred the meat with two forks, discard any fat, the rosemary and Parmesan rind and set the slow cooker to warm while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the past and cook according to label directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and add the meat and sauce from the slow cooker as well as the reserved cooking water. Cook on medium high heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle each serving with olive oil.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Caribbean Beef Stew

With the cold temperatures outside you may be looking for meals that are hearty, comforting and most important of all… easy to make. This beef stew covers all those bases.

I began by adding my vegetables – potatoes and carrots – along with fresh thyme, ginger and garlic in the bottom of my slow cooker.


Next I topped the vegetables with beef stew meat that dredged in a mixture of flour, allspice, salt and pepper.


I reserved the excess seasoned flour from the beef and whisked it with water and Worcestershire sauce and then poured it over the meat and potatoes along with a can of Mexican-style tomatoes.


I covered my slow cooker and cooked the beef stew on low for 7 hours and this is the deliciousness that resulted.


It was incredibly flavorful, the beef was wonderfully tender and it had just enough kick to it.


Slow-Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew


3 sprigs thyme

1/2 all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into thirds

1 1-inch ginger piece, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 10-ounce can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel)


Put the potatoes, carrots, 2 thyme sprigs, the ginger and garlic in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker

Strip the leaves from the remaining thyme sprig and chop; combine with the flour, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat. Add to the slow cooker on top of the vegetables and reserve the excess flour.

Add 1/2 cup water and the Worcestershire sauce to the reserved flour and whisk everything together, then add to the slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes on top.

Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours.

Recipe from Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Pot Roast

Usually when I make pot roast I make it in the oven and top it with beef broth and an array of vegetables – potatoes, carrots, onions, & green beans. Invariably though while the gravy turns out delicious, the meat is on the dry side. Enter my slow cooker. The answer to juicy fall of the bone meat every time.

To begin, I sprinkled a 4 pound chuck roast with a generous amount of Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. I then coated it with flour and browned it in an oil-coated skillet over medium-high heat. Next I transferred it to the inset of my slow cooker and topped it with carrots, celery, onions and mashed garlic.


In the same skillet I used to brown the meat I made gravy using tomato paste, beef broth, red wine, bay leaves, fresh thyme, allspice, salt and pepper.


Once the gravy had thickened slightly I poured it over the meat and vegetables and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours.


After 8 hours I removed the roast from the slow cooker and placed it in a pan.


And I mixed the gravy and vegetables with some chopped parsley.


The meat was so tender that instead of slicing it it was better to shred it using two forks. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as I was too eager to dig in and enjoy it. But, take my word; it was DELISH and incredibly tender.


Slow Cooker Pot Roast


1 4lb beef chuck roast

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup flour, plus more for coating

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 stalk celery, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges

3 garlic cloves, mashed

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

3 cups low-sodium beef broth

3 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped


Sprinkle the roast with 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the roast and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes Turning as needed. Transfer the roast to the insert of a slow cooker, along with the carrots, celery, onions and garlic.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick – there may be some lumps. Add the beef broth, bay leaves, thyme, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking, until the gravy is smooth and thickens slightly, about 4 minutes.

Pour the gravy into the slow cooker over the roast and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours – the roast and vegetable should be tender.

Remove the roast and let rest for a few minutes. Discard the thyme stems and strain the vegetables, reserving the gravy. Toss the vegetables with half the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Stir the remaining parsley into the gravy and season with salt and pepper. Slice the roast against the grain. If the meat is too tender you can opt to shred it using two forks. You can serve the meat and vegetables on a platter, moistening them with some of the gravy and serve the remaining gravy on the side.

Recipe from The Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Moroccan Spiced Butternut Squash and Beef Stew

For this week’s Slow Cooker Sunday meal I’m bringing you a dish with flavors from North Africa, specifically Morocco. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food… Hence bringing together a multitude of wonderful flavors. So, it’s no surprise that this week’s Moroccan Spiced Butternut Squash and Beef Stew is full of flavor.

To begin I placed 2lbs. of cubed beef chuck in the bottom of my slow cooker.


After mixing together ground ginger, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl, I sprinkled it over the beef and tossed it to coat the meat.


Next I added in a small diced onion and a can of peeled whole tomatoes (with the liquid) and crushed the tomatoes with my hands.


And finally I put butternut squash chunks on top of everything and sprinkled salt over it and added water. If you cannot find fresh butternut squash use frozen instead.


I cooked it on low for 7 hours and the aroma was amazing when I uncovered it.


I served it over white rice and while it was delicious the first day it was even more so the following day as the flavors continued to develop.



Slow Cooker Moroccan Spiced Butternut Squash and Beef Stew


2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

1 small onion, diced

1 28oz. can peeled whole tomatoes (with liquid)

1 butternut squash (about 2lbs.) peeled and cut unto 1 1/2 cubes



Place the beef in the slow cooker.

In a small bowl mix together the ginger, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle over the beef and toss to coat well.

Add the onion and tomatoes with their liquid and crush the tomatoes with your hand.

Place the butternut squash chunks on top and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 cups water.

Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours, until the beef is tender. Serve over rice.


From Food Network Magazine, October 2015. Reynolds Slow-Cooker Favorites

Slow Cooker Sunday: Shepherd’s Pie

This week for Slow Cooker Sunday I am bringing you Shepherd’s Pie. Customarily Shepherd’s Pie (or as it can also be called Cottage Pie) is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potatoes. Traditionally it was made with leftover roast meat but is commonly made today with ground meat, beef or lamb. This Shepherd’s Pie is made with beef chuck that is slow-cooked with vegetables in a beef broth and served over mashed potatoes. A twist on the traditional, but, just as delicious. And can I just say that this is my favorite type of slow cooker meal… Just place all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, turn it on and let the machine do the work.

First I placed beef, carrots and an onion into the slow cooker…


Next I added in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. After giving the mixture a few goof stirs I then nestled two potatoes – one of the potatoes was the size of two – right on top and covered it and set it cook on low for 8 hours.


After the 8 hours I stirred in 2 cups of frozen peas and left it on the warm setting until the peas were heated through.


Meanwhile I removed the potatoes and mashed them with milk, butter, salt and pepper. If you are wondering why the color is a bit off, don’t forget that the potatoes absorbed some of the beef broth during the cooking, which only added to their flavor.


To serve, I scooped some of the mash potatoes in to a bowl and topped them with the stew… It was DELICIOUS!!!


Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie


1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large carrots, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups low-sodium beef broth

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 large russet potatoes, peeled

2 cups frozen peas

1/2 cup milk, warmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

kosher salt

black pepper


Place the beef, carrots and onions in the slow cooker. Add in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, flour 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir to mix well. Nestle the potatoes in the liquid.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours – until the potatoes are tender. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl and add the peas to the stew. Stir and cover and allow the peas to warm, 2 to 3 minutes.

Mash the potatoes with the warmed milk along with butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Serve the mashed potatoes topped with the stew.

*Please note I use a 5 1/2 quart slow-cooker.

Recipe slightly modified from Real Simple

A Quick & Easy Bolognese

As the temperatures begin to drop our need and desire for hearty and comforting dishes begins to rise. There’s nothing like coming in from the cold with a nice hot bowl of soup waiting for you. That’s my usual go-to after a morning of shoveling, but let’s not talk about snow so early in the season. We haven’t even had our first frost yet! And just as comforting as soup is pasta and today I have a recipe for you for a quick and easy Bolognese. I came across it in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine where they coined it Weeknight Bolognese. I’m calling it quick and easy because I was able to make twice in one day without breaking a sweat. Why did I make it twice in one day you may be wondering? Well, it’s not because it was so delicious I finished it one sitting – don’t get me wrong, it was delicious – but, it was because I made a MAJOR snafu! If you didn’t know I am more of baker than a cook. The cooking thing is still fairly new to me and I have a lot to learn, like you shouldn’t substitute cooking wine for a dry red wine in any recipe. That’s why I made this recipe twice. The first time I used cooking wine in lieu of dry red wine and it was atrocious and incredibly salty. At first I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong, but, a quick Google search let me know. I believe I may have made this mistake once before with another recipe but, it’s not coming to me right now. At least I know for future cooking endeavors!

So, on my second go around I had a delicious dinner to eat and with the temps a little cooler in the evening it was quite comforting.


A Quick and Easy Bolognese

  • Servings: 4 to 5
  • Print


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef*

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/4 cups dry red wine**

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Kosher salt and black pepper

3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

*I used a 93% / 7% split

** I used Merlot


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon until the meat has lost its pink color and has begun to brown. Add in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Pour in 1 cup of the red wine, the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking finish the sauce by adding in the nutmeg, basil, cream and the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and continue simmering for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl and top with the sauce and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with extra Parmesan on top.

Recipe from Food Network

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