Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Ragu

Serves 4/6
Ragú is a meat sauce, rather than a sauce that also happens to have meat in it, so the beef is the star here, and the colour is suitably dark and rich. For this recipe, very little hands-on cooking is needed, simply browning the meat and deglazing the pan are the only real steps, aside from preparing and chopping the sauce ingredients. This is so simple and versatile, you can serve it with pretty much any pasta of your choice, or something like gnocchi or a baked potato if you prefer. This will freeze exceptionally well and we wager making a big batch of this and freezing in portions pays delicious dividends down the line!
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Ragu
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    For the marinade

    • 2 tbsp shaoixing rice wine (or white wine)
    • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tsp cornflour

    For the stock (Optional)

    • Chicken bones and wings/wing tips
    • 1 brown onion, skin-on and cut into eighths
    • 1 bulb of garlic, skin-on and halved
    • 1 carrot, cleaned and chopped
    • 75ml wine or shaoixing rice wine, to deglaze
    • Lemon peels (optional)
    • Water, to top up

    • 1 free-range chicken, jointed, or a packet of chicken breasts or thighs
    • 50g Siúcra caster sugar
    • A handful of sesame seeds
    • 1-2 tsp each Nam Pla (fish sauce) and sesame oil
    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • 3 lemons, peeled and juiced plus extra for garnish
    • Sesame seeds (black, white or a combination of both)
    • Rice, to serve

    1. Coat the brisket pieces in the seasoned flour and brown in a medium frying pan - bubbling with butter and a little oil - until nicely golden on all sides. Remove and add the wine to deglaze, scraping pan to remove any ‘caught’ bits and follow with the tomato purée. Keeping the heat on medium, allow these both to cook down and concentrate until you’re left with about 3-4 tablespoonfuls. 

    2. In the slow cooker pot, add this sauce, followed by the browned beef and all of the sauce ingredients, except the milk. Stir everything to combine and clamp on the lid.

    3. Cook on ‘low’ setting for 8-10 hours or ‘high’ for 4-5 hours, but check for tenderness hourly about half-way through. Add the milk for the last 30 minutes (or 10 minutes on high).

    4. Serve with your choice of pasta or carbohydrate –– or even between two slices of bread!

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