Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mom's Busy Family Meat Sauce

Mom’s Busy Family Meat Sauce

“1 Sauce, 3 Meals”

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, grated
3 ribs of celery, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds ground beef
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 14 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a large stock or soup pot, heat oil on medium high. Add carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook vegetables until tender, about 6 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
Stir in tomato paste, sauce, and tomatoes. Add Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar and spices. Turn heat down to a low simmer and cook for at 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally. When meat sauce is done, divide into three containers. Freezes well. You have the makings of at least three dinners. Suggestions: Sloppy Joes, spaghetti or lasagna, tacos. For tacos I always add a little cumin and chop fresh cilantro in with the lettuce and tomato.

Crock Pot Directions:

Turn crock pot to high. Brown meat in skillet. Pour into crock. Add vegetables, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paste. Stir and add Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar and spices. Stir again and allow crock pot temp to get hot. Reduce heat to low and cook for three to 5 hours. It’s fine to cook this meat sauce all day on low.

Cooks Notes: Okay, here’s my rule of thumb for prepping the vegetables; If your family simply hates onions, bell peppers, etc. then use a grater to prepare them and they will virtually disappear during the cooking process. My daughter, Malissa is an expert at this and the kids get the vegetables without knowing it. I think it’s important to keep vegetables in recipes because your family needs the vitamins and iron, even if they hate eating them. This is a good way to get the healthy stuff in the diet and avoid the fights.