This recipe only takes a few minutes stove top, then into the slow cooker for a few hours. I can handle that.
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 large onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced (or 1 tsp celery seed)
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps marg or butter
1-2 slices bacon, chopped
3 bay leaves
1/4 - 1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
28 oz canned tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth
1 can tomato paste
1/3 cup 35 % cream
salt & pepper to taste
In a frying pan add the olive oil and marg along with the onion, carrots and celery (or celery seed). Cook until onion is translucent then add the bacon. When the bacon is cooked toss in the minced garlic. Cook 1 minute. Remove the vegetables to the slow cooker, then add your ground beef to the frying pan.
Break it up as it cooks and browns.
Mix the white wine and balsamic and use it to de-glaze your pan, scraping up all that flavour as you go.
Add the bay leaves and fennel seed.
Now add the meat, canned tomatoes, drained, broth and tomato paste to the vegetables in the slow cooker. (You can freeze the juice from the tomatoes to add to a soup sometime)
Take the cream and warm it alittle and you can add a spoon or 2 of the cooked mixture to it, before adding it to the sauce. Mix well. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook in the slow cooker for 20-30 minutes on high, then reduce to low and cook for 3-4 hours.
Remove the bay leaves. Take 1 1/2 cups of sauce out and blend with an immersion blender. Then add it back to the pot, leave uncovered and set on high for 15-20 minutes to thicken.
It was all worth it when the pasta lover walked into the house and said "it smells really good in here."