Slow Cooker Braised Beef Ragu with Polenta

Slow Cooker Braised Beef Ragu with Polenta

Got a big crock pot you want to host your dinner party from? Check out this braised beef ragu with polenta. Recipe makes 10 delectable servings. Browned meat with canned tomatoes and flavored with red wine, bay leaves, and pinches of basil and oregano.

Yields: 10 servings


For the braised beef ragu

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 lbs. beef rump roast or round roast
  • 1/2 a yellow or white onion, minced
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 28-ounce cans San Marzano (or similar) whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • black pepper to taste

For the polenta (or purchase instant polenta)

  • 6 cups water
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. Optional, but for best tasting results: Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan. Add the beef in one whole piece and fry on each side for about 5 minutes, turning until the whole exterior is golden brown. I had some splattering issues so I covered the pan with a lid.
  2. Place all remaining ingredients with the beef in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  3. When the beef falls apart easily when pulled at with two forks, it is ready. Shred the beef into pieces and give it a good stir.
  4. For the polenta, boil the water and add the salt. Slowly add the cornmeal, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. The polenta will start to thicken quickly.
  5. Continue whisking or stirring for 2-3 minutes before removing from heat. Stir in the butter until melted (you can also add cheese I’M JUST SAYING).
  6. For solid and chewy polenta, pour into a rectangular dish, let cool for 15-20 minutes, and cut into pieces. For softer polenta (my preference), serve scoops of polenta immediately before it has hardened.