He whipped up this dish at Christmas. He spent a lot of time putting it together, but the results were GREAT!
Slow Cooker Vodka Bolognese Sauce
Cook up the veggies in a skillet, add the meat, and brown it all over. This is essential. You want to get a caramelization on the meat before adding it to the slow cooker. Donít skip this step.
Here are my two secrets to making a good Bolognese sauceÖone thatís better than any other on the internet:
One, I like to use a mix of ground beef and spicy Italian sausage. The sausage adds a deep layer of flavor. It really makes the sauce so delicious and gives it just a touch of heat. You can certainly use ground beef in place of the sausage, but I do recommend giving the sausage a try.
Two, vodka. Yes, VODKA. Now I want to start by staying that if you do not drink, I totally understand. In this case, just swap the vodka for chicken broth, beef broth, or even just water. That will be totally fine and your sauce will still be great.
BUT, if you do drink or use alcohol for cooking, you must add vodka to your sauce. Itís a game changer. The vodka adds a sharp bite that helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. When used in small amounts, the vodka will boost and intensify aroma of the sauce. The key is slow simmering the sauce, which will release its flavors and cooks out the alcohol. So yes, this is safe to serve to kids!
This Slow Cooker Vodka Bolognese Pasta is the perfect family friendly meal. Slow cooked Italian style Bolognese sauce with a mix of beef, veggies, sweet tomatoes, herbs, and vodka. Great to serve any night of the week, or for your next holiday dinner party.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 pound ground spicy Italian sausage (or ground beef)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 can (28 ounce) chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup vodka
1 parmesan rind, plus grated Parmesan cheese for serving
1 pound long or short cut pasta
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS!
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, shallot, carrots, and celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until the onion is fragrant and beginning to caramelize. Add the beef and sausage, brown all over, breaking up the meat as you go, about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
2. Transfer the meat to the bowl of your slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, bay leaves, thyme, milk, vodka, and parmesan rind. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
3. Remove the parmesan rind. If the sauce is soupy, crank the heat up to high and cook, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain.
5. Use the pasta water to thin the Bolognese sauce, if needed.
6. To serve, divide the pasta among bowls and ladle the bolognese over top. Add the cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!