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Meaty Slow-Cooked Ragu {Paleo, Whole30, GF, DF}

Updated: Jun 17

This Ragu is hearty + satisfying no matter the season! One of my favorite parts is how it makes your house smell fabulous as the budget-friendly beef roasts slowly in the delicious tomato sauce full of garlic, shallots, red wine, and fresh herbs!

Update: Full Disclosure-This recipe wasn’t as flavorful as I would have liked it be…next time I would add diced fire roasted tomatoes instead of the sauce. And to be totally honest my traditionalist husband much prefers ground beef. So please…make it your own! Would love to know what you did!

Spaghetti is one of my favorite things to make and pasta is one of my favorite things to eat! There is something therapeutic about sauteing the garlic and onion, the aroma of the red wine and it all + I love how you don’t really need a recipe…just olive oil, garlic, onions, red wine, fresh herbs + some canned tomato products make ordinary ingredients into something special.

This Ragu recipe takes spaghetti to the next level…it’s a meaty Ragu that uses an inexpensive beef roast that gets slow-cooked in a dutch oven to get the meat nice and tender. We raise our own beef here on our ranch (just enough for the hubby + me plus hopefully family/friends in the future…check out my about page to find to read more) and I am always looking for a way to use the roasts.

The idea for this recipe came from a friend of ours who is a fabulous cook! We were blessed to have her cook our wedding rehearsal dinner. We were even more spoiled on our first anniversary (we did a stay-cation) where she came cooked an absolutely beautiful multi-course dinner for us. It was amazing!

We went over to her home for dinner when we were newly married and she made a slow-cooker 3-meat pasta sauce with homemade gnocchi! It was so delicious! She sent me the recipe once but I can’t seem to find it now. I thought it would be great to try and re-create it. I do remember her adding Italian sausage but I didn’t remember this until after the grocery store…so please feel free to add it…I bet it would be even more delicious in this recipe!

As far as the pasta you use in the recipe, you just want one that stands up to the hearty meat sauce. To keep it Paleo I made my own using this recipe. I also like this brand {although I should mention that I’m steering away from it because of the importance of soaking/sprouting your nuts (this pasta uses almond flour) to remove anti-nutrients…more on that in another blog post!}. Update: In a perfect world I would eat all sprouted nuts/nut flour but am realizing more + more about balance and I do love that almond flour pasta and still use it (in moderation cause it’s pretty spendy). I can have a tendency to be an all or nothing girl when I learn something new, but then my husband, my budget + time help me rein it back a little:).

Gnocchi would be fabulous with this as well! And if you are trying to keep it Whole30 you could do thicker cut zucchini ribbons or even mashed cauliflower???

Even though spring is in full bloom around here and this recipe seems more fitting for a cozy night in front of the fire…I think just as fitting for a night sitting across from my handsome hubby enjoying the beautiful views out our window + the leftover wine;)! I hope you enjoy this recipe and would LOVE to hear your feedback!

“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” American comedian and writer W C Fields

Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu {paleo, whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free}

This Ragu is hearty + satisfying no matter the season! This recipe makes a lot…plenty for the whole fam or the freezer! Update: Full Disclosure-This recipe wasn’t as flavorful as I would have liked it be…next time I would add diced fire roasted tomatoes instead of the sauce. And to be totally honest my traditionalist husband much prefers ground beef. So please use this recipe as a base and make it your own! Would love to know what you did!

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: dairy-free, gluten-free, Italian, paleo, whole30

Keyword: beef ragu, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, pasta, Whole30

Author: Alicia Raymond


  1. good splash extra virgin olive oil

  2. 2-3 lb beef roast (I used rump roast)

  3. salt + pepper

  4. 1 lb ground beef

  5. 3 small shallots (about 1/8 cup)

  6. 4 small-medium garlic cloves

  7. 2 tbsp organic tomato paste

  8. 1 cup good quality red wine

  9. 2 17.63 oz boxes organic tomato sauce (16 oz cans work as well)*

  10. 28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes in sauce with basil

  11. 1 cup water

  12. 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

  13. 1 good handful fresh thyme (tie w/ butchers twine w/ rosemary to make life easier)

  14. chopped chopped fresh parsley for garnish


Heat up dutch oven to high heat. Salt + pepper beef roast (liberally) on both side. Add EVOO to pan and sear for 3-4 until beautifully browned. Flip roast over and sear on other side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate for later.

Next, sear your ground beef on medium to medium-high until browned, scraping up bits on the bottom of the pan as you go (flavor!!). Once browned, removed to a paper towel lined plate.

Over medium heat cook garlic and shallot for a couple of minutes, making sure to scrape up any bits as you go. Next, add in tomato paste and cook for another minute. Then add in red wine and turn up heat to simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add your tomato sauce (I rinsed out my and crushed tomatoes with a bit of water), and the 1 cup water. beef roast, along with the juices, rosemary and thyme.

Bring sauce to a low boil, then turn heat down to low. Cook on low for about 4 hours (may be less but this is how long it took for me), stirring occasionally to make sure sauce isn’t sticking to the bottom, until you can tear beef roast apart with a fork.

Remove the roast from the post and shred with two forks, then return the shredded beef back to the pot.

Bring sauce up to a low boil and cook for about 30 minutes until sauce is nice and thick, stirring often to make sure sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Taste, carefully:), and add salt + pepper as desired.

Serve with your favorite pasta (best to toss pasta with Ragu)! And the rest of that bottle of nice wine of course;). Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley! Enjoy!


*Watch out for added sugars to tomato sauce and/or other tomato products. Recipe adapted from Recipetineats

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