It’s Spring Break this week and I’m so used to having to take the week off to be with the boys when they aren’t in school that I still take the week off. Only now, I’m the only one home this week. My husband was too busy at work to be able to take the week off. He could only take Monday off, so we spent the day in Banff, which was really nice and it was the first time we’ve gone to Banff without our boys (they were both at work).
Tuesday it was back to work for my husband, so I figured if I was going to be home for the week I would do a bunch of freezer food and stock up.
First up is my favorite, Bolognese. We love this stuff and I make this a couple of times a year.
Start off with 1 lbs. of carrots, peeled and chopped, as well as an entire head of celery, chopped and 7 to 8 onions (I used Mayan Sweet). Place all of these in the food processor, and puree. (I do this in batches to make sure everything gets pureed up nicely.
While I’m pureeing the vegetables, I get the pot on the stove (yes, that is one huge pot – 16 quarts and I love it for making large batches of food, it’s so amazing) over medium heat. Add some olive oil to the pot, just a couple of turns around the pot with the olive oil.
Start cooking the vegetables. This will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes to get the vegetables cooked down. You want all the liquid to be gone, the vegetables won’t brown, but may darken slightly. You will also want to add a pinch of salt of pepper. (Remember to season as you go along).
This is after 10 minutes, still a lot of liquid when I run my spatula through the middle.
This is after 45 minutes. You can see, there’s no more liquid and the vegetables are nice and dry. Perfect.
Next up is a large can of tomato paste. This is the only tomato going into this, so make sure it’s a large 13 ounce can of tomato paste. Cook this for 10 minutes, making sure to keep stirring occasionally as you don’t want this to burn.
Once the 10 minutes is up and the tomato paste has been cooked into the vegetables, we’re going to add in the 4 lbs. of ground turkey. (You can use whichever ground meat you wish, I have always used ground turkey and we love it). Also add in a full bottle of red wine (use whichever red wine you would drink). Mix all of this together.
Next we are going to add in the 4 containers of beef stock, along with 2 containers of water and more salt, pepper, and oregano. I cannot really give amounts for the oregano, salt and pepper, as these should definitely be to taste. If you like more oregano add more, or less salt add less salt. I use about 2 palm fulls of dried oregano, as well, I add large pinches of salt and pepper at every step in the process, from cooking the vegetables, to adding the tomato paste, and then as well after a couple of hours of cooking I state and see if it needs more seasoning. so definitely do the seasoning to taste.
This cooks for about 6 hours at medium low heat. It will definitely reduce down and thicken up. Then we divide this up into freezer containers and have this on hand for when we want meat sauce. This will last us a few months (it makes 12 containers of 2 1/2 cups of sauce each, as well we had a small pot left over to have spaghetti Bolognese for dinner).
When you thaw this, if you want it have a more tomato taste, simply add in a medium sized can of tomato sauce, which will thin out the sauce, as this is a thicker meat sauce.
7 to 8 onions
1 lbs. carrots
1 head of celery
1 bottle of red wine
1 can (13 oz.) tomato paste
4 containers beef broth (approx. 4 litres)
2 litres water (just fill 2 beef broth containers with water)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Oregano (to taste)
- Peel and chop vegetables, puree.
- Over medium heat, cook vegetables in some olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Make sure the liquid is cooked off before adding other ingredients.
- Add in tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add in ground turkey and the bottle of wine. Mix this all together into a sort of paste. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add in the beef stock, water, oregano and another pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly off set to allow steam to escape and cook for approx. 6 hours.
- Taste to adjust the seasoning, if it needs more salt, pepper or oregano.
- Divide between freezer containers and freezer for up to 3 months.
- When reheating you can either thaw in the fridge or reheat from frozen, as well if you want it to be more of a tomato meat sauce simply add a can of tomato sauce while heating up.
*I don’t use garlic because it gives me bad headaches, but if you prefer to add garlic to this simply add it in while pureeing the vegetables.