I am so incredibly proud of my homemade meat sauce, it always receives amazing rave reviews. One time, though, I used the meat sauce in my lasagna and brought it over to my mom’s for dinner with her and my other son who is 26. Although they enjoyed it, they both thought it tasted a lot like Chef Boyardee sauce. I was insulted, but my son exclaimed, “I LOVE CHEF BOYARDEE!” And since he’s a super picky (finicky) eater, I took it as a HUGE compliment. No one else thinks it tastes like Chef Boyardee, but it’s a running joke now in my family. I’m positive that your family will love it as much as mine does…if they like Chef Boyardee, that is! 😉
IN NEED OF: 2 T olive oil, 4-6 slices bacon
Start by heating about 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large sauce pan, stock pot or dutch oven. Cut up several pieces of bacon (use as many as you want, the more the better!!) and cook in oil until it starts to get crispy.
IN NEED OF: half an onion, 3 cloves garlic, one carrot, celery (optional)
While the bacon is cooking, cut up half an onion, chop 3 cloves garlic, and shred one carrot (you can also include celery, but I hate the stuff, so I use celery salt instead when I have it). Add the onion to the bacon and saute for about 3-4 minutes, then add the carrots and cook another 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic. (Can you smell that!? Mmmm…it smells so yummy when those veggies get married in the pot!)
IN NEED OF: 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork (see below for options)
Now add 1 1/2 pounds ground beef AND 1/2 pound pork (any pork will do, I’ve used Italian Sausage, bulk pork sausage, and ground pork, you could even use ground chicken or turkey!). Brown that up real nice until no longer pink.
IN NEED OF: A bottle of red wine!
Now for the fun stuff: pour yourself a good size glass of red wine, enjoy the bouquet, take a swig… and then pour the rest of the bottle in the pot with the meat mixture. Stir it and then let that reduce in half for about 20-30 minutes. Take your glass of wine out to the living room and flip through a Foodnetwork Magazine.
Or…browse through my other blog, NOTE TO SELF: Daily Reminders from God.
Time to check the sauce! (You can always go back to my other blog when you’re in need of a good recipe for your soul!)
IN NEED OF: 1 small can tomato paste, 28 oz. can tomato puree, 1 cup water, S&P
Add 1 small can of tomato paste and 1 super huge (28 oz.) can of tomato puree (looking for a way to use those tomatoes? Cut them up and puree them in your food processor and then add THAT to your sauce, now you’re REALLY talking homemade!!) plus 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, partially covered. You can stir it now and then (and even sample it if your heart so desires), but you can also just let it do it’s thing and then stir it a couple of times during the last half hour.
This will make approximately 5-7 cups of sauce and should allow you 3-4 meals. We use it in lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, even chili (just reheat and add chili powder!!). We also add it to macaroni and cheese (boxed or homemade).
Since making this sauce a year ago, I REFUSE to buy store bought jar sauce ever again. Chef Boyardee has NOTHING on my sauce!