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Dine-In: Friday Night Football Food

Slow-Cooker Beef Italian Ragu Friday night in the fall means football night for my family. Well, so is Thursday night, and counting all of their after-school practices and, of course, what we watch on television, “football night” spreads to every other night of the week!

To be honest, I don’t watch a lot of football unless my boys are out on the field – or the SEC is stomping someone else. I grew up in the southeast, and as far as I can tell, there isn’t any other conference that can stand up to what I see in the SEC.

For all of my fellow Ole Miss fans, Hotty Toddy!

Ok, well, at least Ole Miss can say it is the only school in the country that had a New York Times article devoted to the university for its excellence in tailgating. We win the party every time.

Tonight, I am having some friends over to eat supper before we go to watch our children play in our high school’s football game. And I wanted to have something warm and filling for the boys when they come in tired and starving after the game.

The easiest thing for me to do is to pull out my slow cooker before leaving for work Friday morning, and it means I won’t make a huge mess cooking before my friends come over, which I tend to do. (By the way, I want to give a shout out to the person who thought of the slow cooker liners you use and throw away, leaving not much of a mess at all. What a timesaver!)

This Slow-Cooker Beef Ragu is an Italian-derived recipe that came about from throwing together what I had in the fridge and pantry. It is really simple, and the sauce makes a delicious “gravy.”

My teenage boys always ask for me to serve this beef dish over egg noodles or Italian polenta, otherwise known as “grits” in the South.

The leftovers (if we have any!) also make wonderful sandwiches.


Slow-Cooker Beef Italian Ragu
Serves 6

1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 tsp dried Italian herbs
1 (4-lb) beef chuck or rump roast
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups beef broth
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Combine onion, garlic, tomato paste and Italian herbs. Season roast with salt and pepper to taste, and cut in half. Place onion mixture in the bottom of a large slow cooker, and set roast halves on top. Pour beef broth carefully around sides. Cover and cook for 9 hours on low heat. Let cool in the cooker for 15 minutes before shredding with two forks. Stir in vinegar just before serving.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 528, Fat: 32 g, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Protein: 51 g

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Posted in: Cooking, Dine In

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