cooking · Dinner

Hearty Meat Sauce

Kirk is fine with our veggie eating most of the time, but there are periods where I get requested that meat be served up pronto for dinner 😉 I made this the other day for dinner. It takes a good 1 to 2 hours to cook but is mostly hands off so is still very easy.

We picked up a load of lean ground beef from a friend’s family that had slaughtered a cow recently. The bull was very lean – true grass fed, living the pastoral life for a long time. When I cook with it I have to add in some fat – not a bad thing! Otherwise I would have used ground bison. I don’t like the taste of commercial ground beef but the homegrown I do.

On the wine used in the recipe? I don’t drink wine. Overall we don’t drink much alcohol so buying a bottle to cook with is rather wasteful – even if bought it at Trader Joe’s. I was wandering through the local Safeway and noticed that Barefoot wines came in 4 packs of small single serving glass bottles. Each one the perfect amount for a meal. No waste! I picked up a Merlot that is mild in tannins so it cooks well. And for those who think that cooking wine has to be top notch? This article in the New York Times from 2007 is a fabulous eye opener!

Hearty Meat Sauce


  • 1 cup sweet onion, peeled and diced (1 medium)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced (3 thin carrots)
  • 1 cup celery, diced (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or bison
  • 2  14 ½-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup lower sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup red wine ( I used Barefoot Merlot)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 – 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Ground black pepper and salt to taste


In a large/deep non-stick skillet heat the oil over medium high, add in the vegetables and cook till the onions are golden. Add in the beef and cook till browned.

Add in everything else, bring to a gentle boil. Turn down to medium-low, cover tightly and let cook for at least an hour, stirring periodically. Turn the heat down as needed, all you need is a gentle simmer.

Serve over pasta of choice (it makes enough for a pound of pasta).


One thought on “Hearty Meat Sauce

  1. Great advice about the wine. Not a problem in this house though, there is lots of wine consumption going on over here! Wish we had that kind of farm connection, so great.

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