Sunday, August 12, 2007

Meat Sauce

A dear friend is facing very scary surgery in the near future. And, because every person I've ever sent a get well card to has died before they received the card, I'm usually a bit stuck about expressing my concern but not killing them off. So, I'm embarking on what any good southerner does . . . I'm cooking up a storm so I can stock their freezer with quick and easy meals for my friend and his family to eat during recovery.

This afternoon, I put together my meat sauce for pasta. As many of you have figured out, I subscribe to the "throw together" method of cooking. I'll try to remember what I did.

I browned up 2 lbs ground beef - I bought the best they had at the store - which was in the butcher case and was 93% lean. (I browned the beef in two batches and separately from the sausage)

I browned 1 lb butcher made hot italian sausage. I put the browned meat in the colander to drain the fat off.

I chopped up one medium sweet onion and three cloves of garlic. I sauteed them in the same pan as I browned the meat. I picked four sprigs of thyme and oregano from the garden. I pulled all the thyme leaves off the stems and threw them in with the veg. I put the oregano sprigs in as is. I put the veg and meat together in a large dutch oven. I added in probably a tablespoon of worchestershire sauce, a tablespoon or more of pepper relish, and a large can of crushed tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, and a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes. Oh yeah, I also tore in probably 6 large basil leaves from the garden too.

As for seasoning, I used probably 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp red pepper flake, and 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon.

I let it all cook for a couple of hours, stirring about every 30 minutes. I like the meat to be very very tender. If you want to use dried herbage - I'd say a tsp of oregano, thyme, and basil. Or more - what ever you like. Oh - and, pick out the oregano sprigs out before packaging up the sauce.

I like to package up food in two cup containers for couples - and add up by the additional family members.


Allen said...

Sounds yummy. If I were making it, I'd probably use more red pepper flakes and a lot more garlic. But that's just me...

Allen said...

Oh... I hope your friend does well through the surgery and recovery!

The Super Bongo said...

my friend is battling bladder cancer. He's had a couple of rounds of chemo, being "cleared" and it coming back.

What I really hate is that he and his partner have been together nearly 30 years - and were able to avoid AIDS all these years --- and now, much too young, it appears that they are facing a slow spiral to the ultimate end - in a rather painful way - and much of society won't even acknowledge the loss or pain.

As for the extra red pepper and garlic - I normally would too - but thought that I wouldn't want to have too much spice if battling issues of elimination.

Allen said...

Good point.

I offer my heartfelt sympathy for their situation and wish them the best. I wish I could do more.

The Super Bongo said...

Yeah - it sucks. But, unfortunately, pretty much everyone has something in their life they could really live quite happily without.