I have been meaning to post this recipe for Bolognese Sauce for a long time. It's been sitting in my drafts for two years, in fact. Oops.
Ground beef mixed with tomato sauce this is not. There are no hard bits of ground beef here. I don't know how to describe it except to say that the meat is soft, but "soft meat" sounds wrong somehow. Just make it and you'll know what I mean. This recipe makes a lot of sauce. It freezes really well, and since it takes all day to make (are you still reading after I said that? Good- it's made in the slow cooker) it's nice that you have lots to show for it. I always have some in the freezer for a quick meal, and as soon as I run out I make some more.
The sauce is great on pasta, of course, but I love it best on spaghetti squash. It is lighter and actually more flavourful, I find and the squash adds another dimension of flavour. I've made it before and then mostly forgot about this weird and wonderful vegetable until a girls weekend in October. One friend brought meatballs with tomato sauce and another made spaghetti squash in place of pasta. Even those who were sceptical went back for seconds and we didn't even need to make the back-up pasta.
One Year Ago: Chocolate Lollipops
Two Years Ago: A Tale of Two Banana Breads
Three Years Ago: Home Made Gifts
SLOW COOKER BOLOGNESE
from Best of America's Test Kitchen 2007
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped fine
- 1 carrot, chopped fine
- 1/2 celery rib, chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes, pureed in a blender until smooth
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Add the milk, bring to a vigorous simmer, and cook until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes, thyme and bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Cover, set the temperature to high, and bring to a boil.
Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce is very thick, 7 to 8 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes: Sauce can be refrigerated up to 4 days, frozen up to 2 months.
Recipe can be made partially ahead of time by completing all steps prior to putting sauce in the slow cooker- refrigerate sauce in pot overnight, then bring to a boil again before transferring to slow cooker.
Place slow cooker on a counter or on the stove away from cabinetry as a lot of steam will rise from the sauce as it cooks.
If you will be out of the house for longer than 7 or 8 hours, set the lid halfway off the slow cooker rather than removing it entirely, then simmer for 10 to 11 hours.