Short ribs aren’t the default cut of beef for shredding anymore! Flank steak is a lot leaner and shreds beautifully for this Slow Cooker Beef Ragu.

This is the perfect weeknight meal, cooked low and slow for 8 hours and ready to toss with your favorite pasta.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu - Over Pappardelle Noodles in White Bowl

Shredded beef has always been one of my favorite things to eat, and for most of my life, I always thought of short ribs as the default shredded beef, like these slow cooker short ribs.

They fall apart with the prod of a fork so beautifully and become really tender after several hours of cooking.

A while back I discovered via my friend Gina’s cookbook that there was a leaner alternative that still shreds beautifully, and the magical cut is…flank steak!

This surprised me, because flank steak in my head was always something you grilled and enjoyed rare, cut again the grain.

Not something you cooked in the slow cooker for 8 hours and shredded with pasta.

Beef Ragu with Pappardelle Noodles in white Bowl

Well, since this discovery, I’ve made variations of this pasta probably about 15 times.

It’s so easy to make, and has become a staple in my weeknight dinner rotation.

Here’s what flank steak looks like:

Flank Steak on Parchment, Raw

You can see the grain runs left to right, and if you cooked this piece whole, you’d get strands of beef that are just as long as the cut is from left to right. Practically as long as noodles.

Season both sides with salt and pepper:

Flank Steak Seasoned with Salt and Pepper

Then cut the flank steak in half or in quarters to make the strands shorter.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Ragu:

Place the flank steak in the crock of a slow cooker with marinara sauce, carrots, rosemary, and garlic:

Beef Ragu Recipe in Crockpot with Rosemary, Carrots, and Garlic Over Tomato Sauce and Beef

Cook on low for 8 hours, then shred the beef:

Braised Beef with Tomatoes in Crock Pot

Toss with fresh cooked pappardelle noodles, or your favorite pasta:

Beef Ragu Pappardelle in a crockpot with Tongs

Serve with grated parmesan if desired. Leftovers keep beautifully!

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu Pappardelle - Served in White Bowl

Make sure to use a good quality marinara sauce for the recipe. Since there’s not a lot going on here, it’s necessary to splurge on the premium jars of sauce, such as Rao’s.

Homemade Lasagna is another one of my favorite Beef and Pasta comforting meals.

I also love this Steak Salad for something lighter. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu Over Pappardelle Noodles in White Bowl

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

Short ribs aren’t the default cut of beef for shredding anymore! Flank steak is a lot leaner and shreds beautifully for this ragu, cooked low and slow for 8 hours and tossed with fresh pappardelle pasta.
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Ingredients

  • 2 lb flank steak
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 cups good quality marinara sauce (24oz jar)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 8 ounces fresh pappardelle cooked, for serving
  • grated parmesan for serving, optional

Instructions 

  • Season the flank steak on both sides with salt and cracked black pepper. I seasoned with a total of 1/2 tsp salt distributed between both sides.
  • Cut the flank steak in half or in quarters so the strands of beef are shorter.
  • Place the flank steak in the crock of your slow cooker, along with the marinara, carrots, rosemary, and garlic.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, until the flank steak shreds easily.
  • Shred all the beef, then toss with the fresh pasta. Serve with grated parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 745mg, Potassium: 1089mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 4120IU, Vitamin C: 10.5mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 4.4mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Posted updated November 2018. Originally published April 2017.