Homemade Meat Sauce
“There’s nothing more romantic than Italian Food.”
Its dinner time! Does your family have a favorite dish? Ours has to be spaghetti and my homemade meat sauce. When I first met Jason and learned he was half Italian I knew we were a match. Anything with cheese, gravy and carbs calls my name like no other. So once we tied the knot I was set out to master my sauce. The jars are great and all, but nothing compares to mamas cooking. Over the years I think I have tried over 100 recipes. I would find one and work with it a few times until I knew it wasn’t for us. Finally three years ago when I first stared my garden ironically I found a recipe using the fresh vegetables and herbs I had grown. Like that I had found my sauce! Not only is it the best tasting sauce, it’s so incredibly simple.
Here’s the thing with this recipe, it’s flexible and barley needs actual measuring. Dream come true right? However, there is one important step and out of all the ingredients I have come across I stand true the first step.Because everyone is home due to the fun Coronavirus quarantine I wanted to make sure I made a bigger batch then normal. Typical I would leave out one of the big cans of sauce and stick to a poundish of meat. Also, the shelves were almost empty so I was suck with the bigger can of tomato paste. I never use anything more than the small can because it can make your sauce more on the tart side and I’m not a huge fan of that.
Call me crazy, but I’m positive every recipe I have ever seen barley even know the correct portion of garlic. You feel me? So, first thing first- chop, dice and mince your vegetables. These are you key ingredients so don’t skip them! I promise you you will never notice them in the sauce. My kids not once have said a thing and getting them to eat one of these is like pulling teeth normally. Personally I wish I would have grabbed another pepper but I wasn’t thinking about it because I got the meat after the produce and it was so crazy I was just ready to leave. If I am doing my normal portion (1lbsish) I use half the onion, 1 pepper and ½ a garlic bulb. But because I’m making it bigger I used all the of the onion & garlic bulb. Fun fact-fastest way to peel a garlic clove is to lay your chopping knife over the clove and push down. The skin comes right off and its ready to be minced.
Add 1 tbsp of butter & oil. Heat until butter is melted and then add the diced veggies and seasoning.
Step two, here’s where you can get a little more flexible. There a lot of pre-made Italian seasoning mixes but most are the same. Eventually I’ve learned that I need to have oregano and parsley always stocked. But if there is something you really love to add when cooking give it a try with this recipe! Once my herbs come back I’ll add basil to the mix but for the winter months we just skip it. Now when adding your seasoning whatever you do, don’t skimp to much or you’ll end up with bland tomato sauce. Here are the measurements I used today, ¼ a cup of each herb ca and ½ a tbsp of black pepper.
Saute until all of your veggies are translucent.
From here on out it’s smooth sailing. Your veggies will take about 15-20 minutes to get them all cooked and then you’ll add your meat. Cook until all the ground been has browned and you can either drain the mixture or if you’re like me and on a KetoDiet I kept the fat in. This batch of meat was a little more fatter then I typically get so I probably should have drained it but it was to late for me.
Add your can of crushed tomato sauce – this is what hides the onion and green pepper – regular tomato sauce and your tomato paste. Another thing I love to do is get seasoned cans. Of course there were none left. These were actually the last two cans of sauce on the entire shelf so I’ll consider myself lucky. But if you didn’t notice I don’t add salt to my recipe. I typically leave it up to the overly salted cans to do that for me.
Stir everything together, bring to a boil and then let simmer for a minimum of 2 hours.
That’s it! I typically start this at 2-3pm and we eat between 5-6pm. If you cook it for less than two hours you won’t bring out of all the flavors, so do yourself a favor and let the sauce simmer for a few hours. This way you can also do a taste test along the way to make sure something isn’t out of wack. But honestly this is so simply I’ve never had an issue other than lack of seasoning.