I have had a slow cooker for at least 7 years now and aside from the odd beef stew I rarely use it. I love the idea of being super organised and preparing a meal the night before, and coming home to the smell of home cooked food but in reality I never actually get around to prepping anything and the stews I've made have always been a little hit and miss in terms of flavour.
My reasoning behind trying a slow cooked bolognese was Zoe, she loves spag bol and lasagne but when I cook it quickly in a pan the meat is still in fairly big chunks which she struggles to chew, so tends to just pick around it, which is such a waste. So, I decided to give the slow cooked a try to see if it would break down the meat a little more. Not only did it break down the meat, it intensified the flavours and made for something really tasty!
Also, I have a very fussy vegetable-avoiding man in the house, so I liked that I could sneak extra veggies and flavour in. He has issues around texture so the slow cooking process meant that everything was well incorporated and there were no pesky textures to content with.
500g beef mince (I use 5% lean)
500g carton of passata (you could also used tinned tomatoes if you prefer)
2 small onions, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
handful of mushrooms, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
glug of red wine
I blitzed my veggies using a stick blender, due to aforementioned texture issues but a fine dice will do if you don't mind a bit of texture.
I basically chucked all of the above into the slow cooker, I filled the pasatta carton half way with water and added that too, then popped it on low for 6 hours. For the final 30 minutes I turned the heat up to high and took the lid off to allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
I used my bolognese in a lasagne, which was hands down the best lasagne I have ever made! I will definitely be using this method again and I even have a few cartons in the freezer for last minute dinner emergencies.