kelly said

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26 July 2006

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Makes 12 cups-enough to sauce 4 pounds of pasta

Because steam rises from the sauce as it cooks, it’s best to place the slow cooker on a counter with no cabinetry overhead. If you need more than the 7 or 8 hours of cooking time called for in the recipe, in step 3 set the lid halfway off the cooker rather than removing it, then simmer the sauce for 10 to 11 hours. Freeze leftover sauce in airtight containers for up to 2 months.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion , chopped fine
1 small carrot , peeled and chopped fine
1/2 rib celery , chopped fine
3 cloves garlic , minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 pounds meatloaf mix , or 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck and 1 1/2 pounds ground pork

Table salt and ground black pepper
3 cups whole milk
3 cups dry white wine
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes , ground in blender until smooth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1. Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until foaming. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened but not colored, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add meat, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up meat, until crumbled into tiny pieces and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Add milk, bring to vigorous simmer, and cook until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, 10 to 15 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes, and thyme; cover and bring to boil. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, cover, set temperature to high, and bring to boil.

3. Once mixture comes to boil, remove lid and simmer until sauce is very thick, 7 to 8 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Make Ahead

This recipe can be partially made the night before so that it’s ready to place in the slow cooker in the morning. Complete steps 1 and 2 and refrigerate the mixture in the Dutch oven. The next morning, bring the mixture back to a boil, transfer it to the slow cooker, and proceed as directed.