Beef and Sausage Ragù
This sauce is the epitome to me of what I want to eat on a frosty winter night. The combination of rich beef and flavorful sausage is the ultimate comfort food. It’s also excellent topping polenta.
- 1 pound boneless short ribs of beef or stewing beef, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound bulk sweet or hot Italian sausage
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound white mushrooms, wiped with a damp paper towel, stemmed, and sliced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven broiler, and line a broiler pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Broil beef for 3 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer beef to the slow cooker, and pour in any juices that have collected in the pan.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into the skillet, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Transfer sausage to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
3. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and mushrooms soften. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.
4. Add tomatoes, wine, oregano, bay leaves, and fennel seeds to the slow cooker. Stir well.
5. Cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours, or until meat is very tender. Remove and discard bay leaves, stir in parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: The sauce can be prepared up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Substitute boneless lamb shoulder for the beef.
- Substitute boneless country ribs for the beef, and substitute white wine for the red wine.