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5 from 7 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu is a rich and tender, fall-apart tomato beef sauce. With all the magic happening in your slow cooker for a ready-made dinner!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Ragu
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 398kcal
Author: Karina


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil , divided
  • 4 pounds | 2kg beef brisket or round roast (or any slow cooking beef of your choice), trimmed of fat
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic , finely copped or minced
  • 2 x 14-ounce | 410g cans crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or beef broth / stock)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth | stock
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt (adjust to your tastes)
  • cracked pepper to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar (adjust to your tastes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (OPTIONAL FOR A THICK SAUCE)


  • Cut beef into 4 pieces. OPTIONAL FOR ADDED FLAVOUR: Heat olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear each piece of beef on both sides until browned (about 5 minutes each side). Transfer each piece to your 6qt slow cooker bowl as soon as they are seared.
  • You should have left over oil in the pan (or skillet) from the beef. If not, add 1 tablespoon of (extra) oil to the pan. Fry the garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion and fry until transparent. Add the garlic/onion mixture over the beef in the slow cooker, plus all remaining ingredients (except for the cornstarch/water mixture).
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or HIGH for 4-5 hours.The beef is ready if it falls apart easily when pulled apart with two forks.
  • NOTE: If you desire a thicker sauce, stir the cornstarch/water mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes and allow to thicken.
  • Shred the beef into pieces; mix through the sauce. Serve over pasta, rice, polenta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.


IF SERVING WITH PASTA: In the last 15 minutes of cooking time, boil pasta in salted water following packet instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Pour the reserved water back into the pasta along with 2 cups of cooked ragu. Stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese and (extra) chopped parsley, if desired.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 710mg | Potassium: 882mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 4.8mg