Braised Beef Ragu with Creamy Parmesan Polenta

February 14, 2017
Braised beef ragu, a hearty, flavorful tomato sauce with beautiful braised and slow cooked meat on top of a smooth and creamy polenta!

Braised beef ragu with creamy parmesan polenta, a hearty, flavorful tomato sauce with beautiful braised and slow cooked meat on top of a smooth and creamy polenta!

I am so in love with this recipe for a slew of reasons…

  1. Who doesn’t love meat that’s been browned and cooked low and slow for hours?
  2. A hearty tomato sauce with Ragu’s Homestyle Thick & Hearty meat sauce flavored with red wine, basil, and oregano.
  3. A rich and creamy parmesan polenta that gives new meaning to comfort because it is the ultimate comfort food.
  4. RIDICULOUSLY easy to make! All you need is a slow cooker and a pot! 🙂

If someone where to ask me to identify my style of cooking, the first thing I’d say is that I’am all about comfort food. I love recipes that immediately take you back to home and sitting around the dinner table with family. This beef braised ragu is one of those dishes that invokes nostalgia and comfort for me. It’s a dish that I call “stick to ya ribs” because its warm, hearty and the perfect thing to eat on a cold night. Oh, and if you’re trying to impress your significant other with a home cooked meal than this is the recipe for you! The recipe sounds intimidating, but I promise its not. The flavorful and hearty sauce is made with Ragu’s Homestyle Thick & Hearty Meat Sauce, and it’s the star in my opinion. I love the thickness and flavor of the sauce, and I’ve been eating Ragu for as long as I can remember! I think it was the first tomato sauce I’d ever had. It tastes like a homemade sauce that’s been simmering for hours, and is perfect in this braised beef ragu. This year Ragu is celebrating their 80th birthday, and I’m happy to be celebrating with them as their sauces have been a part of my family for years.









To make this beautiful recipe, I took a 3 pound beef round roast and seared each side in a piping hot skillet with some olive oil. Then I transferred the beef to one of my kitchen best friends, the crockpot . Next the Ragu sauce went in with some red wine, tomato paste, onions, oregano, garlic, and basil. Covered the pot and left it to cook low and slow for 7-8 hours. Result… tender beef that falls a part in a delicious tomato sauce.


For the polenta, which has always sounded intimidating to me, but actually isn’t at all I used some yellow corn meal. That went into a bot of salted boiling water, and stir fast because it can clump pretty quickly! I turned off the heat and then added some garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese. Stirred that all together, and amazingly I got a creamy, velvety polenta. I honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. Check out the recipe below, and Happy 80th Birthday to Ragu! To celebrate with them, head on over to their recipe page for more amazing recipes!

Braised Beef Ragu with Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Hearty, flavorful tomato sauce with beautiful braised and slow cooked meat on top of a smooth and creamy polenta!
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8-10
Braised Beef Ragu
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 lbs. beef rump roast
  • one medium sized onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 23-ounce jar RAGÚ® Homestyle Thick & Hearty Meat Sauce
  • ½ cup of good red wine
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and black pepper to taste
For the Polenta
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups of Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat, and add the rump roast to the skillet. Sear each side of the roast for about 5 minutes, or until a nice golden brown crust.
  2. Remove the beef from the skillet and add it to the crockpot with the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. The beef should be tender and easily falling apart. Shred the beef with two forks, and mix all together.
  3. For the polenta, combine the water, garlic, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and slowly add in the cornmeal, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and clumping. Simmer over very low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Turn off the heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve together with the braised beef ragu.
** recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum's Crockpot Braised Beef Ragu and Ina Garten's Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Braised beef ragu, a hearty, flavorful tomato sauce with beautiful braised and slow cooked meat on top of a smooth and creamy polenta!

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  • Veena Azmanov February 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I love beef ragu and this looks so delicious – I love that color you got on this dish.. Pinning for later.

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      thanks Veena! 🙂

  • Jolina February 14, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I see you’re best friends with the crockpot too 🙂 This dish looks delightful! We’ve never tried cooking polenta at home because we’re not quite sure how to do it but this looks like the perfect dish to try it on.

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks Jolina! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the polenta! This was the first dish I ever made it with.

  • Jen Nordine February 14, 2017 at 11:43 am

    This recipe looks delicious! My mouth is watering! I can’t wait to test it out on my own!

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      thanks Jen! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Barb February 14, 2017 at 11:47 am

    This looks amazing! And anything involving a crock pot, I’m in! This is the perfect dinner for staying in and cuddling with your loved ones.

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      thank you!

  • Jessy @ The Life Jolie February 14, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Oh wow- this looks SO comforting, especially with the freezing cold weather we’re having right now! Slow cooker recipes are always a good idea!

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks Jessy! It’s definitely a warming dish.

  • Robyn Proctor February 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Mmm this is making me hungry haha. I need to try my hand at this!

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks Robyn!

  • Stephanie@ApplesforCJ February 14, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I always love a good slow cooker recipe. And I really like polenta and just hadn’t thought of making any lately. Thanks for the reminder!

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks Stephanie! Starting to love polenta over here too!

  • Suchi Modi February 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I have never made polenta but this with ready ragu sauce has my name written all over it.

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you!

  • Elizabeth @ February 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Wow, this looks so good! Totally indulgent and perfect winter comfort food!

    • evseats February 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth!

  • Katherine Turro February 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    This looks so incredible! Especially with the polenta! <3

    • evseats February 20, 2017 at 1:11 am

      thanks Katherine!

  • certifiedpastryaficionado February 15, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Omg yummmm!! You’re so right – there are very few things better than meat that’s been slow-cooking for hours. So tender. I can’t wait to try this with polenta!

    • evseats February 20, 2017 at 1:11 am

      thank you! Hope you like it!

  • Danielle @ Follow My Gut February 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    If I could go swimming in that polenta without looking crazy, Evi I totally would! Love your killer recipes!

    • evseats February 20, 2017 at 1:12 am

      Lol! Thanks Danielle!!

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