Don’t let the highbrow sounding name of this dish fool you. While saying Dutch Oven Braised Beef Ragu Over Polenta out loud will ring in your ear as some sort of fancy and expensive entrée you would find on the menu of a stuffy restaurant, truth is this is a heart warming, saucy, cozy comfort food meal as downhome as you can get. Not to mention it is as simple to make as it is budget friendly. This dish tastes expensively decadent, with a tomato-tangy sauce richly flavored with red wine, bay leaves, garlic and finely diced yellow onion; beef so tender it falls apart with the touch of your fork; served over polenta that is both creamy and perfectly textured. Finely this dish is completed with a freshly grated parmesan cheese topper which adds a nice flavor balance of salty cheese creaminess. All at a price that won’t empty your wallet and will leave you some extra cash for a nice bottle of wine to pair it with!
A Few Words About Dutch Ovens:
As the name would suggest this dish is prepared in a Dutch Oven… if you are not familiar with Dutch Ovens they are magical contraptions that I think every home cook should have in their bag of tricks. These cast iron beauties have been staples in American kitchens for centuries and are the “original” Crock Pot of sorts in that you can add all your ingredients, pop them in the oven and let them cook away without too much muss or fuss. There are a variety of brands, styles and price points available but I love the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 6-Quart. Great quality, reasonably priced and if you take care of it you will be handing it down to your kids… as they last for years. Not to mention you can cook your onions and garlic and beef in the Dutch Oven on the stove top before you pop it into the oven reducing the number of pots and pans you need to clean up AND giving your meal an even richer flavor by cooking in all the beef bits and yumminess in the Dutch Oven, helping to incorporate all the flavors together.
Chuck Roast – So Tender and Juicy:
I use Chuck Roast for this recipe… for a could of reasons. One, chuck roast is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat helping to keep the cost of this dish budget friendly. Two, when trimmed and cooked properly the meat will become moist and tender with a full rich beef flavor. This is because chuck roast has a really nice fat to meat content. When buying your roast be sure to look for a nice marble BUT stay away from overly fatty beef – no one wants to pay for fat.
That’s it folks! My tips and tricks on the perfect Dutch Oven Braised Beef Ragu Over Polenta and why I love this recipe.
So how about we get down to cooking up some Dutch Oven Braised Beef Ragu Over Polenta?
I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to comment, take a pic or like on Pinterest… we love to hear form folks who have tried our recipes.
- 3 pounds Chuck Roast trimmed of fat and cubed into approximately 2 inch cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 cup red Burgundy wine
- 2 28 ounce cans tomato sauce (I my local store brand but use your favorite)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Gravy Master
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Polenta (or your favorite brand)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- About ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional – but so yummy)
- Chopped basil or parsley (optional)
- Take the Chuck Roast cubes and salt and pepper them on all sides (about ¼ teaspoon each for all the meat). In a Dutch oven on stove top over medium heat add a ½ tablespoon olive oil and a ½ tablespoon of veggie oil (reduces heat point but still gives great olive oil flavor).
- Brown meat (about 2 to 3 minutes a side for a total of about 5 to 6 minutes) in batches (about 5 pieces a batch), set cooked meat on a plate to cool.
- Add 1¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion to the Dutch oven and cook until translucent, scraping the beef pits and oil up with a wooden spoon as you do (about 5 to 8 minutes).
- Add tomato paste, minced garlic, Burgundy wine to the Dutch oven and mix well, scrapping any last of the bits. Cook until tomato paste is brick red (about 2 to 3 minutes), add cans of tomato sauce and stir. Add cooked beef to Dutch oven with bay leaves, Gravy Master, garlic and onion powder. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Take a sheet of foil and cover the top of the Dutch oven to make a seal, then put lid on top (this will help keep the moister in).
- Place Dutch oven in 350 degree oven covered for 4.5 hours, about half way through cooking remove Dutch oven from oven (be ultra careful - the Dutch oven will be EXTREMELY hot and you can get easily burned) and skim any fat from the top, give the sauce a stir so the meat doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and place back in the oven.
- While the beef and sauce are cooking prepare the polenta in a sauce pan on the stove top by bringing the water, milk and salt to a boil.
- Gradually stir in polenta, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer, stir occasionally so that polenta does not stick for about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add in butter, cover and set aside.
- Once beef has cooked for about 4.5 hours remove from oven and stir, remove bay leaves, on a plate or in a bowl add polenta and top with beef and sauce, grate parmesan cheese on top, add a little basil or parsley for a pop of color and serve. Enjoy!