Italian Pot Roast Ragu
This recipe’s a hybrid of sorts. Stew + Ragu = voila!
You’ll want to deeply brown the pieces of beef chuck. Seriously. Don’t gray them. They should have dark spots across the surface, not just golden patches. Be patient and let all those natural sugars become more intensely flavored.
To balance all that browned goodness, we call for dried spices, rather than fresh, because the dried ones have a slightly earthier flavor, less bright and so more balanced in the ragu.
Servings Prep Time
2pounds 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
2pounds 10minutes
Cook Time
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2lbs boneless beef chucktrimmed of any large chunks of fat and cut in half
  • 28ounces whole tomatoes1 can
  • 1/2cup frozen pearl onions(do not thaw)
  • 3/4cup light dry red winesuch as Pinot Noir
  • 1tbsp drained and rinsed caperschopped
  • 1medium garlic clovepeeled and minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2tsp table salt
  • 1/2tsp ground black pepper
  1. Press Saute, set time for 20 minutes.
  2. Warm the oil in the cooker for a minute or two. Add the beef in two batches and brown, turning a couple of times. Make sure the first piece is well browned before transferring it to a bowl and adding the second one. At the end, both pieces of beef should be in the bowl.
  3. Wash and dry your hands. One by one, squeeze the whole tomatoes over the pot, then add any remaining juice from the can. Add the pearl onions and stir well to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, just until the onions begin to brown lightly. Turn off the SAUTE function.
  4. Stir in the wine, capers, garlic, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Return the beef pieces and any juice in the bowl to the cooker. Lock the lid onto the pot.
  5. Optional 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 44 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  6. Optional 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 55 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  7. Option 3 Slow Cook
    Press Slow Cook option on High for 5 hours with Keep Warm setting off (or on for no more than 2 hours)
  8. If you’ve used a pressure setting, when the machine has finished cooking, turn it off and let its pressure return to normal naturally, about 30 minutes.
  9. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use a flatware tablespoon to skim off any excess surface fat. Find and discard the bay leaf, then use two forks to shred the meat.
  10. Press Saute, set time for 10 minutes.
  11. Bring the sauce to a full simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a fairly wet ragu, about 5 minutes. Turn off the SAUTE function and set the lid askew over the pot for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Recipe Notes

• You must halve the recipe for a 3-quart cooker.
• Stir up to 2 tablespoons butter into the ragu before serving.
• This ragu takes well to pasta shapes like rigatoni or fusilli. Or serve it as a stew over large spoonfuls of ricotta.
• Garnish with minced fresh parsley leaves.