Beef Ragu


When I made this I had no idea what to call it. I started with a recipe that I got from a friend in college that was called “Farfalle Di Sera” (which means evening butterflies in Italian) as the base, but I made some changes to it so I’m not sure it’d still be called that. But after looking at this wikipedia page, I’m pretty sure it can be categorized as a ragu.

As you may or may not know, I typically cook dinner for around 25-40 people most Sundays for my church community. Normally I do things that are fairly simple because I don’t really start thinking about what I’m going to cook until Sunday afternoon and then only have a few hours to shop and cook. This Saturday the husband was out of town for a work trip and I had some extra time on my hands so I decided to try something different/more complicated.

I’m not sure I’ve ever braised that much meat at once before. After 5-6 hours the meat still seemed really tough, so I was a little worried. But a friend assured me that all would be ok if I just kept cooking it, and it all worked out!

I think it turned out really well and people seemed to enjoy it. Sadly it’s not very vibrant looking and hence not super appetizing, but it tasted good and that’s what matters right?

It’s only been 10 days since my last post, so I don’t really have a whole lot else to add.

Ingredients (note that this is probably enough for 30-40)
10 lbs chuck roast
5 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
7 medium zucchini/yellow squash, diced
5 small yellow onions, diced
3-4 cups chopped carrots
Heavy cream
Garlic powder
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot (I used a 12-qt stock pot… and then eventually had to divide into a second pot) and cook onions until soft and translucent.

Cut chuck roast into large pieces just so that they’re small enough fit in the pot you’re going to use. Season sides with salt and pepper. Brown all sides of the pieces of chuck roast and put them in the stock pot over the onions.

Add all the crushed tomatoes and simmer for 10-12 hours or until the meat is tender and shreddable with a fork. Allow to cool and skim extraneous oil from the top.

In a large pan, sauté the carrots with salt, pepper, and garlic powder until tender crisp and put aside in a bowl. Do the same with the zucchini.

Remove the large chunks of chuck roast and shred with two forks. I did this in the second pot I ended up using. When all the meat has been shredded, add about half back to the first pot and transfer about half the liquid from the first pot to the second. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and garlic powder to taste. Add the carrots and zucchini (drain any extra liquid first) and continue to simmer until the carrots are soft.

Add heavy cream to your desired level of creaminess.

Serve over your favorite kind of pasta!