Beef Ragu with Orecchiette is hearty, rich, and soul-satisfying, the perfect meal to greet you after a day of snowboarding or winter fun. It is a wonderfully decadent dish, and few will guess it’s also budget-friendly. Beef chuck is a cheaper, tougher cut of meat that benefits from a slow braise or time in a pressure cooker. Cooked slow and low or under pressure it becomes fork-tender and melt-in-your-mouth good. Beef cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce is a magical pairing (I heart spaghetti and meatballs), and Beef Ragu with Orecchiette is no exception.
The beef cooks in a tomato sauce, a sauce that is then used to cook the orecchiette, so it’s important to use a good quality canned tomato, and San Marzano tomatoes are the best of the bunch, with a price tag to match! I’ve found the cheapest San Marzano tomatoes at Trader Joe’s, but with a four dollar price tag that’s often twice or three times as much as other canned tomatoes (and the same price tag as the beef chuck! – btw, Aldi’s has consistently good prices on beef chuck and it’s often on sale). However, once you try the sweet goodness of San Marzano tomatoes, you’ll see why it’s such a key ingredient in dishes where the tomato sauce is there to shine.
Did you catch that it’s also a one-pot meal? One pot to cook, one pot to clean- my favorite kind of meal! I’ve only ever cooked the meal in an Instant Pot, a magical pot that makes dinnertime, clean-up, and life in general infinitely easier, but you could use a stove top pressure cooker or a dutch oven. You can also cook the pasta separately or drop the pasta. If you go either one of these routes, then up the amount of beef and/or at the end cook the sauce uncovered to thicken it.
*This post contains affiliate links through Amazon.