Our family is a huge fan of pasta, especially Little Miss C. And I love it too, more so because of the super simple and fuss-free preparation – it makes my weekends less harried.

But one Saturday, I decided to put my homemade bolognese sauce recipe on a little experiment. I wanted to see how different it’d taste if I first cooked it and then transferred it to the slow cooker while I run off to complete my errands.

Well, I’m relieved to say that it turned out great – more tasty and flavourful! I think I might have found a meal solution for those busy days.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to have a go at it as well:

 

For this you will need:

1 packet minced beef

2 tomatoes, diced

2 carrots, diced

4 slices of bacon (cut into small bits)

1 celery stalk, diced

1 pack of fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, chopped

1/2 bulb garlic, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon HP sauce

 

Directions:

1. In a frying pan, fry the bacon bits until brown and crispy – there is no need to add oil to the frying pan as the bacon secretes oil. Dish this up and put aside.

2. With the oil residue from the bacon, brown the onion and garlic.

3. Pour in the minced beef and add the Worcestershire and HP sauces. Stir-fry until it is more or less cooked.

3. Add in the mushrooms and cook until they turn slightly soft.

4. Add in the carrots, tomatoes and celery and stir-fry for a bit.

5. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and give it a stir. You may add a little bit of water if you find that the sauce is too thick.

6. Add in the tomato paste and continue stir-frying until you get a nice red-orange coloured sauce.

7. Add in the dried oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook until it bubbles.

8. Transfer to the slow cooker and add in the bay leaves and bacon bits. Leave it to cook on low – until you are ready to eat!

Slow cooker bolognese sauce

Tips:

  • If you find that the bacon bits are sticking to the pan, add in a little bit of oil. So far I have had no problems with this, and I try not to make the dish too oily.
  • You may also add other vegetables to the sauce such as zucchini or pumpkin – it’s the perfect chance for you to sneak in those veggies for the kids!
  • If the colour of the sauce is too light, add on the tomato paste until you get the desired shade. I usually open the smallest can of tomato paste, and end up using maybe half the can.
  • Apart from adding water to dilute the sauce a little, you can add chicken/vegetable stock too. It makes the whole dish tastier by the dozen.
  • Taste the sauce first before adding the salt and sugar, as this will help you to gauge how much to add in.
  • Remember, you don’t really have to cook the ingredients until they soften – as this will naturally occur once you transfer the sauce into the slow cooker.
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