January 21st, 2016

America's Test Kitchen's Big-Batch Bolognese Sauce

We got a slow cooker as a wedding gift and I love trying new recipes for it. I immediately earmarked this one when I saw it in America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook. The recipe was easy, especially when I used a food processer to mince the vegetables. The sauce was rich and meaty and clung to the fusilli perfectly. My favorite Bolognese has a touch of sweetness so I will use more carrots and substitute port instead of white wine next time. I used some for dinner that night and froze the rest so I have 3 more portions for another rainy day.

Big-Batch Bolognese Sauce
from Slow Cooker Revolution

Note: You will need a 6 quart slow-cooker for this recipe.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
1/4 cut minced celery
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
3 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1 cup heavy cream
3 pounds meatloaf mix
Salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker. Stir tomatoes into slow cooker.

2. Mash bread and heavy cream into a paste in large bowl using fork. Mix in meatloaf mix, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper using hands. Stir meatloaf mixture into slow cooker, breaking up any large pieces. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

3. Let sauce settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Break up any remaining large pieces of meat with spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 14 cups