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+ servings

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Tender and flavoursome shredded beef in a rich tomato sauce; this Slow Cooker Beef Ragu is a great family meal served with pasta, creamy mash or whatever takes your fancy.  
Course Main Meal
Cuisine Italian Inspired
Keyword Beef Ragu, Slow Cooker Beef Ragu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 6
Calories 398kcal
Cost $20 AUS


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 950g (2 lb) Beef Chuck Roast, cut into 4 equal-sized pieces
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Medium Carrots, finely diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, finely diced
  • 800g (28 oz) Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 250ml (1 cup) Beef Stock *SEE NOTE 1
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme


  • Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over high heat in a frying pan. Sear the beef pieces, on all sides, until browned (approximately 5 minutes each side). Place the beef into the slow cooker. *SEE NOTE 2
  • To the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1-2 mins. Add the carrot and celery and continue to saute for a further 5 minutes. Add to the slow cooker *SEE NOTE 3
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or HIGH for 5-6 hours. The beef is ready when it can be pulled apart easily with a fork. *SEE NOTE 4
  • Discard the herbs and remove the beef. Shred the beef, using two forks, and return to the slow cooker.
  • Taste and season accordingly. *SEE NOTE 5
  • Serve with your favourite pasta or side of your choice. *SEE NOTE 6


  1. If making for a baby, use homemade beef stock or high-quality beef stock that is lower in sodium. Check the ingredient list at the back of the pack, different brands can vary greatly.  
  2. Although searing the meat first isn’t strictly necessary, I strongly recommend you don’t skip this. Browning the meat creates a caramelisation which will give added flavour to the finished ragu. 
  3. Just like searing the beef, taking the time to saute your veggies in oil, before adding it to the slow cooker, is worth the 5 mins of extra effort. 
  4. I find I need 1 cup of stock when cooking on high but only 3/4 cup when cooking on low. Slow cookers can vary considerably. If you find the sauce to liquidy you may have to simmer with the lid off to reduce the sauce. If you feel the sauce is too thick you may have to add a splash more stock.
  5. I find the sauce needs a good shake of salt, if cooking for baby / young child remove their portions and season the remaining to taste. You may also feel that it needs a pinch of sugar just to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. 
  6. Rugu is perfect served with a range of different pasta shapes. However it isn't limited to pasta, you can really serve it with whatever you fancy! It's delicious served over creamy mash or why not try serving it with creamy polenta, gnocchi, couscous, rice, or some crusty bread.
Nutritional information is a ROUGH guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator. Facts are for the ragu only and do not include any sides (pasta, potato etc)


Serving: 6g | Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 1147mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3801IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 5mg