Monday, October 19, 2015

Classic Meat Sauce

Sometimes I’m in the mood for meatballs, and sometimes I’m in the mood for meat sauce, and today I was really craving some flavorful meat sauce on top of a mound of pasta. This is my “go to” recipe, perfected over the course of many years, but feel free to change things up to suit your own tastes. Because the sauce contains beef, I always add coffee, sometimes thinning the sauce with it if it gets too thick. I find that in the case of anything either beefy or chocolate, both can benefit from the addition of coffee that, in its amazing way, enhances the flavor quite beautifully. It is for this same reason that I use the steak seasoning, although roast beef seasoning, or a combination of seasonings that you use when making roast beef, work well too. You are making sauce here, but sauce that contains beef and it needs as much attention as does the sauce. In any case, have fun with it. Cooking should always be an ever-changing adventure.
Classic Meat Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried marjoram crumbled
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
½ teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
¼ cup strong brewed coffee
2/3 cup dry red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot but not shimmering. Add ground beef and cook until brown, breaking up with a fork as you go, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and saute until onion is tender, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in fresh parsley, dried herbs, paprika, steak seasoning, chili powder, and cayenne; continue cooking 1-2 more minutes. Push onion mixture to one side and drain off any grease that remains in the pan. Return the drained beef to the skillet. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, coffee, and wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until sauce is thick, about 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This can be made up to three days ahead, and really benefits from a night in the fridge. When ready to use, bring to a simmer and heat through. Ladle sauce on top of your favorite pasta and pass the Parmesan cheese.

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1 comment:

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

OMG this looks so good - I could eat a plate full all by myself. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Have a great week.