It's rare in my house, but occasionally I will have open bottles of wine in the house with wine still in them! I hate to waste, but also hate drinking day-old wine, so I usually will whip up a batch of bolognese sauce. Today I tried something new: I prepped everything in the morning before work and let the sauce simmer all day long in the slow-cooker. The result was a super tender and delicious sauce. My recipe is something I created after reading many different recipes - I think I got the fundamentals down. Try it out:
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tbsp butter
3 ribs celery
3 large cloves garlic
handful of baby carrots
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli flake - depending on your heat tolerance
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk
1 little can of tomato paste
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 can of Aylmer's flavoured diced tomatoes (you could use spicy if you like it spicy, for this one I used the Garlic & Olive Oil)
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste!
In a large deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Meanwhile, in your food processor, puree the celery, garlic, onion and carrots. Really grind it down!
Add this to the melted butter and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and brown all the way through, mashing as you go with a wooden spoon. The goal here is to get the meat so that it is really finely ground; you could also do this in the food processor, but for some reason it grosses me out. Anyways - when the meat is browned, add your spices, including salt and pepper.
Cook for about another 5 minutes, then add the wine and the milk and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced. Taste the meat mixture now - decide if you need more seasoning and adjust accordingly!! Add the tomato paste while it's in the skillet - it's just easier to mix for some reason.
In your slowcooker, combine the 2 tins of tomatoes, breaking up with a wooden spoon or your hands! Add the meat mixture to the tomatoes - don't forget to chuck in the bay leaf! Set your slowcooker timer for 8 hours on low. Go to work and when you get home you will have a lovely sauce waiting for you.