This slow cooked Bolognese sauce is meltingly tender, rich and delicious. Serve with spaghetti or use as the base for an amazing homemade Lasagne.
I do love a rich, slow cooked Bolognese. There are many times when I turn to the quick 30 minute version (I promise I’ll share that recipe with you soon!) for a quick and easy dinner, but as tasty as it is, it just doesn’t come close to a bolognese that’s sloooowly bubbled and blipped away for a good 3 hours on the stove.
It’s so worth it.
ingredients you’l need to make slow cooked bolognese sauce
- Minced Beef. You could use a mixture of minced beef and pork if you like.
- Dried Oregano
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Tomato Puree – I use quite a lot for a rich, concentrated tomato flavour.
- Red Wine – or you could use White Wine. Yes, white wine is great in a Bolognese sauce! I actually use Vermouth most of the time because it keeps in the cupboard for ages and is great for cooking.
- Sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes – not too much though, there’s nothing worse than a sweet bolognese!
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
how to make bolognese sauce
(Ingredient amounts and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!)
- Start by gently frying onion, garlic, carrot, celery and dried oregano in olive oil. Take away the garlic and oregano and you basically have what Italians call “Soffritto” which is slowly cooked onion, celery and carrot.
- When the vegetables have softened, turn up the heat and add the minced beef, breaking it up with a fork so you don’t end up with large clumps of meat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Once the meat has browned, add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, wine or Vermouth, sugar and salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down as low as possible and slowly simmer for at least 3 hours – you can leave it for longer if you like. Stir the Bolognese every now and then to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve with Spaghetti or your favourite pasta, or use it as the base for a fabulous homemade Lasagne.
can you make this bolognese sauce in the slow cooker?
Yes you can use your slow cooker to make this recipe – cook your onion, garlic, carrot, celery and oregano on the hob, add the mince and cook until nicely browned. Tip this mixture into the slow cooker, add all the other ingredients and cook on Low for 7-8 hours.
Can you freeze this bolognese sauce?
Yes. Place the cold sauce in airtight containers or heavy dury freezer bags and freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost the sauce overnight in the fridge before re-heating.
can i add other ingredients to this bolognese?
Absolutely. You could add panetta cubes or chopped bacon when you’re frying the vegetables, or you could also add sliced mushrooms. Sometimes I throw in a handful of red lentils – it’s a really economical way of stretching the bolognese out if you’re feeding a crowd.
want to see More slow cooked recipes?
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- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion, diced finely
- 1 Large or 2 Medium Carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
- 3 Large Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and crushed
- 1 Stick of Celery, chopped into small dice
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 1KG Minced Beef, or 500g each Minced Beef and Minced Pork
- 2 400G Tins Chopped Tomatoes
- 120ml Red Wine or Vermouth
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Puree/Paste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of Fine Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Water or Beef Stock (if the Bolognese seems dry)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion, sprinkle over a little salt and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the crushed garlic, chopped celery, carrot and dried oregano and cook on a low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened
- Turn the heat up and add the minced beef, breaking it up with a fork. Cook until the mince has browned (it will take a good 5-10 minutes for this amount of meat).
- When the minced has browned nicely, turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the chopped tomatoes, red wine or vermouth, tomato puree, sugar, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for at least 3 hours - the longer the better. Give the Bolognese a stir every now and then to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it seems a little dry, you can add some water or beef stock.
This recipe really benefits from a long, slow cook - I usually let it simmer slowly for about 3 hours, but it will do absolutely no harm to leave it for longer. The only thing you have to watch out for is the bolognese sticking to the bottom of the pan, so give it a stir every now and then.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 625 Total Fat 38g Saturated Fat 13g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 19g Cholesterol 176mg Sodium 523mg Carbohydrates 10g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 5g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 56g