My friend Krisitn emailed asking for my best Crockpot (slow cooker) recipes. Having just started a new business and being Momma to two young children, she is looking for ways to maximize flavour while saving her precious time. I devised this recipe with Kristin in mind.
What may surprise some American cooks, is that an authentic Bolognese sauce is not a red sauce with meat, rather it is a meat sauce with just a touch of red (in the form of tomato puree or paste- not chunks of tomatoes). Slowly simmering these flavourful, inexpensive cuts of meat in the a Crockpot is the best way I have found to capture up all those fabulous flavours.
There is about ten minutes of pre-cooking needed for this sauce. It is critical for all of the ingredients to be hot when placed into the slow cooker, this way the sauce begins to cook immediately, rather than needing an hour to simply get the ingredients up to temperature.
If you want to watch JennyB demonstrate this recipe click here
8 ounces (200 grams) Italian pancetta, cubed
¾ cup minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound (420 grams) lean pork, cubed
1 pound (420 grams) lean stewing beef, cubed
1 cup dry white wine
1 beef bouillon cube
¼ cup tomato puree (paste)
A big dash nutmeg
2-3 ounces single cream (half and half)
12 ounces wide pasta (tagliatelle, parppadelle)
Good quality Parmesan cheese for grating
1) Pour the wine into the slow cooker and turn it on to high. Add in the bouillon cube and cover.
2) Gently sauté the pancetta in a non-stick pan over medium heat to render out the fat. Cook until crisp, drain away the fat and reserve the crispy cubes. In the same (now dry) pan, add the minced shallots and garlic, sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Now add in the beef and pork, cover and allow to ‘cook’—you are really just getting the temperature in the meat up so that it is hot when added to the slow cooker. Cook for 2 minutes, until steaming.
3) Now, add the pancetta, the hot beef and pork and tomato puree (paste), into the slow cooker, cover and allow it to work it’s magic for three hours on ‘high’.
4) After three hours, shred the meat—it should be fork tender. You can shred it in the pot or shred it a plate and return to he slow cooker. Place a large pot of very hot water over high heat—bring to a boil and cook the pasta. Sprinkle the nutmeg into the Bolognese sauce and pour in the cream. Cover and continue to cook while the pasta is cooking.
5) Once the past is done, drain and toss with a pat of butter then some Parmesan. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well. Serve piping hot!