Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce (Pasta Meat Sauce)
For the Bolognese Sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 celery sticks finely diced
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 2 lb ground beef we prefer beef with 15% or 20% fat content
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley plus more to serve
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup dry white wine Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
- 2 28 oz each canned crushed tomatoes (or canned whole tomatoes, crushed)*
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 bay leaf optional
- Pasta and Parmesan or your favorite Italian cheese to serve
What You'll Need:
- Large skillet or dutch oven slow cooker
In a large deep pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until softened (8-10 mins). Add garlic and 1/2 cup parsley and stir 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker.
In the same pan (without washing it), add ground beef, season with 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté until cooked through and no longer red (6-10 mins). For leaner sauce, you can spoon off and discard excess oil at this point keeping 3 Tbsp oil in the pan. Add 1 cup white wine and sauté on med/high heat until wine has completely evaporated (8-10 mins). Transfer meat to slow cooker.
Add 1 cup milk, 1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp sugar, and both cans of tomatoes with juice and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. If it it seems too liquidy, let it cook with the lid off for the last 30 minutes.
Season with more salt to taste (I added nearly 1 tsp more salt). Serve generous amounts of bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta, topped with cheese and garnished with fresh parsley.
*I know many chefs esteem Imported Italian whole plum tomatoes, but if you can't find them in your grocery store (as was the case with me), the best quality you can buy will do!