Everyday Mom's Meals: Almost That Time

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Almost That Time

Unfortunately, the time has almost come to put the crock pot away for the season. Wait....that's not unfortunate--spring is coming--temps are rising---WOO HOO!!!! And actually, I don't totally shelf mine for the warmer months. I will bust it out for certain dishes even on those oh so warm summer nights......ahhhh.....sorry, I got lost in my daydream there for a minute. This came to me out of All You magazine (one of my favorites) and I've had it stashed away (ok, I misplaced it) and decided this week it was time for it to debut. Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy; and no it doesn't have bologna in it--much to my child's dismay. I'm had some outstanding ones in restaurants, but the only one I've tried at home was a stove top version that cooked for 2 hours; and at the end of it I wasn't that impressed. So I figure why not try the crock pot version and see what happens. I'm serving it over rigatoni, but it goes well w/ fettuccine, linguine or even gnocchi.

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce

1 TBS unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 lb. lean ground beef
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 c. whole milk
1 c. white wine (I will be substituting chicken broth)
2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot, saute 5 mintues. Turn heat to high, add beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season w/ salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour in milk and wine; bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook at a lively simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, stir in tomatoes, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir, then cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes longer. (I will be cooking it for 4.5 hours on high b/c of time constraints)

*Note* For a whole milk substitute, measure 1/2 TBS heavy cream and add 2% milk until reaches 1 cup.

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