Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Crock Pot Paleo Ragu

This sauce was so good that both the caveman and I wound up mild stomach aches from eating too much of it! The day was freezing, and I spend most of it running around like a crazy woman. When this delicious ragu was waiting for me, I just couldn't help but dive in with extreme enthusiasm.

Note: this one is not what I'd call a speedy dish. You have to do a lot of precooking in the morning to get the mixture ready for the crock pot. The slow cooking isn't really meant to save you time and prep, but rather to maximize the depth of flavor of the sauce. I definitely think it was worth the effort, though!

Crock Pot Paleo Ragu
adapted from Cooking Light

3 nitrite-free bacon slices, chopped
1 lb. ground sirloin or bison
12-16 oz. mild Italian sausage
1 tbs. olive oil
1 1/3 cups diced onion
2/3 cup diced carrot
2/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups organic chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can organic, unsalted crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Place chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add sirloin; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Place sirloin mixture in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add sausage (remove casings, if necessary); cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add this to slow cooker. Return skillet to medium-high heat.

Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until wine mostly evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Add stock, tomatoes, 3/4 tsp. salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Carefully pour stock mixture into slow cooker; cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Discard bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

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