Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meat Sauce

Another recipe from The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network. 

Here's what I did. It was DELICIOUS. I actually hope to make it again soon to keep a healthy stock in the freezer. 

3 pounds ground beef (I will use 2 pounds next time)
2 pounds sausage

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced (about 1.5 pounds)
3-4 bell peppers, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine or stock (your choice)
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
Two 24-ounce jar good store-bought marinara sauce (or a 44-ounce jar)
Two 15-ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes, drained
One 6-ounce can tomato paste

"Spice Mixture"
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons parsley flakes

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and sausage until totally browned. I added some Italian seasoning and garlic. Pour meat & liquid into strainer. Set meat aside.

Discard any grease in the pot, but do not clean the pot. (You can skip this step as I did below.) Drizzle in the olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Stir and cook for ~5 minutes. Add the wine or stock and allow to boil/bubble and let reduce, another ~5 minutes. 

Add the crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine, and then add the "Spice Mixture". Stir, and then add the cooked meat. Mix well. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour+, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves before serving.


  • Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.
  • I was impatient on waiting for the meat to cook. Cooking five pounds of meat can take a while. The Pioneer Woman fools you during her half hour show and spending 10 minutes on the sauce. So while I started the meat I also started the rest of it in another pot. You could precook the meat the day before or hours before. 
  • Prep everything before hand! I cut all the onions and peppers, and then mixed together the "Spice Mixture" in a little bowl. I had all the cans ready to go, and a paper bag ready to put the cans for recycling. 
  • I like the Pioneer Woman because she does use shortcuts. I don't want to cook and crush my own tomatoes. Adding an extra jar of sauce is helpful, and cost effective!
I want to take into account the cost to make this. The Pioneer Woman says she gets 12 servings from it. I got approximately 15 servings. We used some for dinner tonight, I put some in a Tupperware for dinner later this week, and then filled 3 one-gallon freezer bags full (around 3 servings each) for freezing and use later. 

The meat came from my Crooked Creek Cow and I bought some extra pork from Williams Brothers. You can get pork for around $2-4/pound. It just depends on what you purchase. I estimated the meat to be $15. I prefer name brand canned goods, you could make this cheaper by using off brands. 

The other ingredients (minus the staples you should have, like EVEO, garlic, and the Spice Mixture), total almost $15. So $30 for 15 servings, or around $6/meal. Which is pretty good. I got worried at one point with the meat and all the canned goods this would add up and not be reasonable. I think it is reasonable, and can be made cheaper. Next time I'm going to use 2 pounds of ground beef instead of 3 pounds. The sauce was almost too meaty for me. My dad would love it. He likes a little sauce with his meat.

No comments: