Wow! It’s getting on toward Fall and it’s time to start preparing some meals for the freezer. Welcome Friends to today’s Blog. I really like to start Fall with a cleaned out freezer. Cleaned out in the sense that I have used all the meat, chicken, etc. that I haven’t used up in the last three months. I find that this way I end up with some easy meals that I can defrost quickly and get on the table in just a few minutes after being out all day in the nice Fall weather. August’s heat and humidity keep me indoors a lot more than I am when the cooler weather comes.
So, today, I put together some Bolognese Sauce and froze a good portion of it in freezer bags for some easy Fall meals.
1 and 1/2 pounds ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. (I used 98% fat free beef for this recipe because I had that in the freezer.)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes or two 14 oz cans. (I use salt free tomatoes)
3 celery stalks
1 medium size onion
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 and 1/2 cups white wine
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
Assemble your ingredients so you make sure you have everything needed on hand. Defrost your meat, if frozen.
I use a food processor when chopping lots of veggies. I added onion, carrots and celery to the food processor as I cut them up and when everything was in the processor I pulsed until the veggies were minced.
The next step is to add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a large pan. Set the heat at medium. When the butter is melted add the vegetables to the pan and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Do not brown.
Add your meat to the same pan and brown. I’m showing you the meat separately so you can see the browning clearly.
This is what you will see when the meat is browned with the vegetables. I like to drain any excess fat from the pan at this point in the cooking process.
Next, add 1 and 1/2 cups of whole milk to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook about 14 minutes until most of the liquid has been evaporated.
Then add 1 and 1/2 cups of white wine to the pan. Allow the wine to evaporate (about 14 minutes). Keep the sauce at a simmer.
Next add your tomatoes with the juice and your tomato paste. Stir until incorporated.
Keep the sauce at a simmer and cook for about three hours. You want the sauce to thicken as the remaining liquid evaporates. You will be left with a thick, tasty sauce in time for dinner. At about 1 hour I taste the sauce and add some salt and pepper. I do the same at about 2 hours, adjusting for our tastes and then one final adjustment before serving.
Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling water with salt according to package directions.
Serve in a pasta bowl with some parmesan cheese and dinner is ready. I usually add an accompanying green salad and a glass of red wine. Allow the remaining sauce to cool and then divide into freezer bags and store in your freezer for a quick meal on a cool Fall day. Enjoy!