Hey guys! I hope you had a great weekend. This post was supposed to go live last night but, of course, I would schedule it for tonight, in error. It happens. Life happens. You move on. #letitgo Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?
A few weeks ago I was at home for a wedding, which meant some quality time with my parents, relaxation and good food. My mom is literally a genius in the kitchen. She’ll whip something [gourmet] up like nbd, and I be like ‘whoa, how’d ya do that?’ A for effort? Loool I really am trying to become more, uh, proficient in the kitchen as I find cooking/baking to be quite therapeutic (when ‘it’ works). And despite the seemingly similar #plantbasedcarnivore #onebowlmeal on my Instagram and Facebook feeds, I have spent a good bit of time playing in the kitchen since my move to PA and newfound downtime. Seriously, until I started this chapter of my life here, I did not know what downtime was. I miss and love NC, but was constantly running and highly don’t reco. It sucks. I tried so you wouldn’t have to 😉
I digress. Back to mom’s cooking. It’s legit. I’m pretty sure we were two hours out from a dinner reservation one of the nights and she says, ‘Oh. I just have to make the meatballs (and sauce) for the freezer real quick.’ Um, WTH? That’d be a half-day affair for me… easily ha! Anyways, turns out meatball- and sauce-making doesn’t have to be all Martha Stewart after all, and since I abide by my “3S Rule: Simple & Satisfying [=Sustainable]” always, I thought I’d share it with you.
[NOTE: She used breadcrumbs (she did buy gluten-free to accommodate me) and egg to bind, but I made mine without and it worked just perfect.]
Mom’s Homemade Meat Sauce
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
- 2 pounds grass-fed beef
- 1 pound pasture-raised ground pork
- Handful parsley, chopped
- Onion, minced
Plus, 1 pound spicy Italian pork sausage
- 2 large cans tomatoes, diced
- 1 large can tomatoes, crushed
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 3-4 cloves garlic (or a scoop of jarred, pre-minced)
- 1 whole sweet onion
DIRECTIONS (Ready for the most vague how-to ever? Lol exact never, wing it always.)
- Add ground meat to bowl with parsley and onion. Mix well with hands.
- Portion meat mixture into balls of equal size, then place on baking sheet or parchment. (I used a scooper that looked like a big melon baller/small ice cream scoop that I found in her utensil drawer – clearly no idea what it’s called. #noshame)
- Place sausages (whole) on another baking sheet.
- Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes.
- While meat is cooking, add garlic and onion to large pan and brown in healthy fat of choice (e.g. coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, EVOO). Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Heat until bubbling, then reduce to low.
- When meat is done cooking, add meatballs and sausage to sauce and continue to let simmer on low 1 hour (the longer, the better…from a flavor, not doneness standpoint).
- Portion into individual servings and freeze for DIY convenience eating. Or, serve over spaghetti squash, sautéed broccoli slaw, cauli rice or zucchini noodles for a lower carb alternative. Sprankle nutritional yeast or almond cheese on top for a dairy-free alternative.
*You can also do this in the crockpot, browning the garlic and onion in a separate pan first, or not. Add ingredients to pot, then meat when it’s done and cook on ‘LOW’ 4-6-ish hours. Again, you’re not cooking for doneness. The longer you let it cook, the more flavorful it will be.
If you try it, let me know (or show me) what you think on my Facebook page, or snap a pic and tag me in your culinary creations on Instagram (@emilynminer). And, if you’re interested in more quick & easy recipe ideas like this one, be sure we’re connected here!