Beef Ragú with Herbed Ricotta

This dish was inspired by one of my favorite foodie Instagram-ers and made for the perfect rainy Sunday supper tonight! It takes only minutes to prep, leaving your slow cooker to do all the work. Serve the hearty and flavorful ragú over your favorite pasta with a dollop of herbed ricotta and you’ll wow everyone at your dinner table any night of the week. Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1, 28 oz can chopped tomatoes ( I use fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz chopped carrots (approx. 3 large carrots)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 – 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lb of favorite pasta (I use fusilli or pappardelle)IMG_7367

Directions:

  1. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Rinse and pat dry flank steak. Cut into large chunks with a sharp knife.IMG_7366
  3. Place steak in the bottom of the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour in the stock. Add garlic, carrots and spices including bay leaves and thyme.IMG_7368
  5. Top with chopped tomatoes and cook on high for 6 hours.
  6. While meat cooks, combine the ricotta, parmesan and parsley in a small bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
  7. Remove meat from slow cooker using tongs and shred.
  8. Add honey to the sauce and using an immersion blender, gently purée. Take care, as slow cooker is shallow and sauce will be hot!
  9. Return shredded meat to the sauce and set slow cooker to the lowest setting.
  10. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare pasta of choice according to package directions.
  11. Serve sauce over pasta with a dollop of herbed ricotta and garnish with additional parmesan.IMG_7410

*Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Beef Stir Fry

The homemade stir fry sauce used in this recipe is a total game changer!  That, and the tender sliced flank steak and fresh snow peas, complete this dish!  Best part, everything came together in less than 20 minutes (cook time)!

Ingredients: Feeds 4

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, plus 2 tbsp for frying
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds of raw flank steak, sliced 1/4 in thick
  • 1/4 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup yellow pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups snow peas (approx 1/2 lb)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Directions:

  1. Whisk the first 8 ingredients together (soy sauce through garlic) to create the stir fry sauce and divide the mixture in half.
  2. Marinate the sliced steak for at least 30 minutes in a large bowl using half the sauce.
  3. In the meantime, in a wok or similar style skillet, heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil over medium high heat.
  4. When the wok is hot, add the onions and peppers and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften.  Add the carrots, snow peas and reserved sauce and continue to cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove the veggies from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  5. Add the sliced steak to the wok with approximately 1/4 cup of the marinade/sauce, discard the remaining sauce.  Cook until steak just about reaches your desired doneness.  Quickly add the veggies back in, stir and allow to cook another minute or two until steak is done and veggies are reheated.
  6. Serve immediately over brown rice or similar starch.
  7. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Suggestions:

This stir fry sauce would work great with any protein!  If I were using chicken however, I would sub chicken stock for beef stock.  Similarly, if I were using shrimp I might use a fish stock or for just vegetables a veggie stock.  You get the idea!

Lastly, you want your veggies to be cooked but still vibrant in color and crisp in consistency!  Cook time is short and sweet over high heat.  They will even continue to cook once they are removed from the heat, so keep a close eye and tell yourself… less is more!

*Stir fry sauce recipe adapted from tasteslovely.com