Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Cookin?: Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

I love spaghetti sauce.  Although I'm guilty of buying sauce in a jar, there's nothing like homemade spaghetti sauce.  Even if you don't make them with fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, just canned tomatoes slow cooked makes the world of difference.  

Of course, many of use don't have the time to slave over a pot of slowly simmered tomato sauce.  That's where your slow cooker comes in.  Toss these ingredients in and let them work their magic while you tend to other things.  At the end of the day (or the next morning), you'll have some amazing sauce!  

This recipe serves 12 so freeze half of it for a future meal.  Besides a spaghetti dinner, I've used my sauces for lasagna.  Yum!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 8-10 hours
Serves: 12
Adapted from: (submitted by: Hey Jude)

2 lb. ground beef
olive oil
1/2 medium to large onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cans (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
4 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. dried basil
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. dried thyme

1) In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef in a little bit of olive oil.  Drain well.  Transfer the cooked ground beef to the slow cooker.

2)  Add a little bit more olive oil to your skillet and over medium-high heat, Add onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.  Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms cook down a bit.

2) Transfer the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the slow cooker.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

3) Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours (the longer you cook this, the better).