A slow-cooker is a convenient piece of kitchen equipment, and free-range beef is the perfect ingredient for this preparation method. A piece of chuck or bolar blade, when cooked slowly, will infuse the other ingredients with its flavour while also offering an amazing level of tenderness.
If you go to a free-range butcher, you can get meat that will maintain its freshness and taste during the long slow-cooking process. In addition to the protein, collagen, and other beneficial compounds in high-quality meat, you and your family can also get additional health benefits from this dish, thanks to the other natural ingredients.
Quality beef brings health benefits
Beef is rich in beneficial substances. It contains protein, which provides energy and aids growth. It also contains minerals like iron and selenium, which are essential for circulation and blood health and also aid your immune system. Finally, beef contains the amino acid compound carnosine, known for building muscle and aiding recovery after activity.
Why do you need a free-range butcher?
These benefits are especially evident if you get meat from a free-range butcher. Grass-fed and free-range beef do not have antibiotics, hormones, or other substances. These are meant to help cows grow and avoid illness, but they bring unwanted effects to humans and may cancel out the health benefits you get from eating quality beef.
Other healthy ingredients in the slow-cooked beef ragu recipe
Garlic is best known for its intense flavour, which gets softened during slow cooking. It also brings numerous health benefits, including supporting your immune system, boosting anti-cancer cells, lowering blood pressure, and fighting viruses and infections. Onions, which are related to garlic, provide similarly potent benefits.
Tomatoes bring vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants to this dish, further boosting the positive effects it has on heart health and anti-cancer cells. Capsicum offers a similar mixture of vitamins and antioxidants. In addition to health benefits, it also helps increase metabolic functions, making it easier for you to digest food and maximise the energy you get from it.
Finally, basil and thyme offer more than subtle flavour enhancements and aroma. They maintain their antioxidants during cooking and can also offer benefits to both your respiratory and circulatory systems.
Find the right free-range beef
When it comes to beef, you can’t compromise on quality, especially when the meat is the showcase ingredient of a recipe. If you are going to try the slow-cooked beef ragu recipe, you want to find the best possible source for your ingredients. In Melbourne, you can find high-quality chuck or blade at Church Street Butcher. We get our meat from local farms, so we can verify grass-fed, free-range quality and ensure you that it will meet your taste expectations. We can even dice the beef so that it cooks evenly after you place it in your slow-cooker.
Slow cooking draws out the flavour and produces the most succulent, tender beef. Use your slow cooker and come home to a ready-made dinner, or cook on the stove or cooktop.
- 1.2 kilogram Beef chuck or beef bolar blade piece
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 medium Onion (diced)
- 4 clove Garlic (thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon Plain flour
- 1½ cup Beef stock
- 400 gram Cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes can
- 3 sprig Fresh thyme
- 2 small Char-grilled capsicums (thinly sliced (optional))
- ½ cup Small fresh basil leaves
- Pasta and grated parmesan (to serve)
- Cut Beef into four or five large pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the pieces of Beef well on all sides. Remove and place in slow cooker bowl.
- Reduce heat, add a little oil to the frypan and onion and garlic. Cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and stir to scrape up residue from the base of the pan and ensure the onion is coated with the flour. Gradually pour in the stock and stir until the mixture boils. Pour over the Beef in slow cooker dish. Add the tomatoes and thyme and a small pinch of sugar.
- Cover the slow cooker with its lid, cook on low setting for 6-8 hours and then 1 hour on high setting (if you have time). Alternatively, cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours. To serve, shred the Beef with two forks. Stir in the roasted capsicum and basil leaves. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.