To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Time for Spaghetti Sauce

Growing up I only ever knew homemade spaghetti sauce. My Memere, Mom and Aunt all made their own. I don't remember having sauce from a jar but if we did it was never to put on spaghetti. Italian Spaghetti at our house meant a homemade sauce with meat and lots of veggies that simmered on the stove all day. I have come to a point now that I've made it so many times it's become my own. I have tweaked it over the years to get it just how Ben and I like it. So the recipe that follows is the basics, because so many have asked me for the recipe. The rest you'll have to add yourself as you try different things till you get it just the way you like it. 
The following is a recipe for a very large stock pot of sauce. This freezes very well so if you're going to make it, make a ton and then freeze it for meals later on in the months to follow. The recipe I make yields about 6 or 7 gallon size freezer bags with some left to eat for a meal the day you cook it. 
2 lbs lean ground beef
5 or 6 carrots, peeled and cut into medallions
2 medium onions, chopped
2 lg. green peppers, chopped
1 lg. package of fresh mushrooms, washed and cut in half
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed 
1/4 or less of olive oil. Enough to coat the bottom to cook the veggies in.
4 lg. (29 oz)cans of tomato sauce
4 lg. (29 oz)cans of crushed tomatoes
About 1/4 c of sugar. This is to taste so start by adding the sugar by tbs. until you get the taste you want.
2-3 Bay leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tomato paste
***You will need spices. This is the part that I can tell you what I use but not amounts. It's all to taste and I eyeball it, I don't measure. You can add or eliminate spices as you like. **
Crushed Red Pepper (Use sparingly. The sauce should have just a hint of the crushed red pepper. No one should be reaching for a glass of water when eating your sauce!)
Granulated Garlic

1. To start, wash & cut all your veggies, while you are cooking your ground beef. Once the beef is cooked through, remove from heat and set aside.  Heat oil in large stock pot and add the carrots first. Cook them on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Now add the green peppers and onions. Cook them for about 10 minutes.
3. Turn down heat a bit and add the mushrooms and garlic. Put salt & pepper to taste on all the veggies and stir them well. Let all the veggies saute together till the mushrooms and onions are cooked. Now you can add the ground beef to the veggies. On low heat simmer the mix, covered, for about 15 minutes. 
4. Now you are ready to add your cans of tomato sauce and crushed tomato. Once all the cans have been added stir well.
5. Now I add the sugar. As you get used to making the sauce you'll know exactly what you need but to start add sugar gradually and taste till you get the sweetness you want. Stir well after adding the sugar.
This is the second seasoning
6. Add the spices you want. I use a lot when I am making a huge recipe. The whole top of your sauce should be covered in seasonings. Stir it in well, taste to see what is lacking, and repeat. You WILL need to repeat, especially when making such a big sauce.

This is what it should look like
when it's done!
7. Taste the sauce again, make sure it's to your liking, and repeat as many times as you need. My advice is to start off slow. Add the spices in small quantities to start. Once you get used to it you'll be able to dump them on like I do but it's better to have too little and have to add then something than have too much that you can't take out. 
8. I very rarely need to use tomato paste but if you find your sauce is too watery, then add the paste. I use a small can of paste when I have frozen my sauce. When I am thawing it in a sauce pan I will add the can of paste to thicken it. 
9. Saute the sauce on low heat for as long as you wish. My memere, mom and aunt all simmer their sauce for the whole day. I don't do it for quite as long. Usually a couple hours. Stir the sauce often to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom. If it is lower your heat. 
10. Make sure your sauce has cooled completely before transferring to freezer bags if you plan to freeze some. 

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