Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meat Sauce for Pasta

Prepared and recorded September 2, 2012.
2 c yellow onion, finely chopped
1 c mushroom, finely chopped
2 t minced garlic, divided
about 3 T olive oil
8 oz lean ground chuck
6 oz pork sausage
6 oz mellow red table wine (e.g,, Sangiovese)
2 T mushroom powder
2 T ketchup
1/8 t crushed red pepper
2 T tomato paste
1 T onion powder
8 oz beef stock
1/2 t ground cumin
1 28-oz can prepared marinara sauce (Trader Joe's™ is good)
water as needed to adjust thickness
In a heavy 12-inch skillet over low-medium heat, heat 1 T oil over medium, and add the onions. Cook, covered, with occasional stirring for about 6 minutes until soft and lightly colored. Set aside in a bowl. Wipe out the skillet, raise the heat to medium high, add 1 T oil, and add the mushrooms. Saute until lightly colored, add 1 t garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant. Add mushrooms and garlic to the bowl with the onions. Wipe the skillet, add the last 1 T of oil, break the sausage into small pieces, mix in the ground beef, cooking gently, continuing to break the meat into small pieces. Take care not to overcook the meat. Add tomato paste, crushed red pepper and the wine. Reduce the wine to about one-third. Add beef stock, mushroom powder, ketchup, cumin, and onion powder. Simmer for 10 minutes. scraping the pan to release any brown bits. Finally, stir in the marinara sauce, and simmer for an hour, covered loosely. Stir occasionally, adding water if sauce becomes too concentrated. Yields about 2 quarts of sauce. Freeze extras. Well suited to potato gnocchi, pappardelle, or fried polenta rounds.