Prep 45 mins
Cook 8 hrs 30 mins
This truly is an "all-day" meat sauce, but it's almost work-free! The long, slow cooking makes even the leanest, toughest meat meltingly tender. If you prep the ingredients the night before and refrigerate, all you have to do is pop it into the crockpot in the morning and off you go!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, minced
- 1⁄2 cup red wine
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups diced tomatoes (drained if canned)
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (4 ounce) jar squash baby food or 1 (4 ounce) jar carrot baby food
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Heat olive oil over medium heat and add beef.
- Cook the meat until browned, then transfer to a slow cooker.
- Return the pan to the heat and add onion, celery and pepper.
- Cook, stirring, 10 minutes, then stir in the red wine to deglaze the pan.
- Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add water, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, baby food, garlic, bay leaf, fennel seed, oregano, thyme, basil and parsley.
- Set the cooker on LOW, cover and cook 8 hours. Remove bay leaf.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
- This can be prepared and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen up to 6 months.