this slow cooker beef ragu is the perfect cozy and hearty weeknight meal or meal prep recipe that’s not only Whole30, paleo, and gluten-free, but it is incredibly delicious. It’s loaded with vegetables, easy to prepare and takes almost no hands-on cooking time thanks to the crock pot. It also freezes really well! This is sure to be a family favorite, and a go-to recipe when you need a quick meal to be ready for dinner.
This recipe is truly one of my favorites. It’s got such a deep, rich flavor that you’d usually get from cooking with red wine, but instead that flavor is replicated with a Paleo and Whole30 alternative. This recipe is so amazing that it’s also featured in my cookbook! We make it a ton at my home, and I know you’ll love it, too.You don’t need very many fancy ingredients to get the ragu prepped and cooking in the slow cooker. The main ingredients are of course the beef chuck roast, and the vegetables: onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and diced tomatoes. The liquid ingredients you’ll need to add to the slow cooker are beef broth (although chicken broth works, too!), dairy-free milk (I use almond milk most often), and, the secret ingredient, pomegranate juice.
Pomegranate juice is the best paleo and Whole30 substitution for red wine in cooking. The juice brings out the depth of flavor from the meat, and helps to tenderize it, without adding sweetness. If that’s not accessible, cranberry juice is the next best option.
- 2.5–3 lb. beef chuck roast
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 cup sliced or diced white mushrooms
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced white onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour dissolved in 1 tbsp water for thickening
- Chopped fresh parsley to garnish.
- Place the roast in the slow cooker, and then add in all of the ingredients except arrowroot flour. Mix everything together, just enough to distribute the ingredients around.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. The beef will shred easily with two forks when it’s finished.
- Optional: To thicken, combine the arrowroot and water in a small bowl and stir until the arrowroot is dissolved. Pour into the sauce and stir to thicken.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower for Whole30, or GF noodles.
- You can use 100% cranberry juice in place of pomegranate juice if that’s not accessible, but don’t skip this! It really adds such an incredible flavor!