Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

Gluten-Free

I should really call this I’m-Sorry-I-Forgot-OurAnniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese, but more on that in a moment…  This recipe is a souped-up version of a traditional Italian meat sauce.  Please don’t let the number of ingredients scare you off because this recipe really is so easy when cooked in the slow cooker!  Beef bolognese is a traditional and decadent sauce with ground meat as the star.  It’s cooked slowly for hours so that the flavors of the tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, wine and meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce.  AND…my Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese recipe adds even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace.  The best part, aside from the amazing flavor, is that the slow cooker does all the work while you are out during your busy day!

So, about that Anniversary title for this recipe.   Yes, apparently when you surpass 10 years of marriage, you just forget.  It wasn’t even just me, WE BOTH FORGOT!😮  In our defense, we have a fabulous trip to Italy planned in July to celebrate a belated 10-year anniversary, but seriously, I feel like an idiot.  I didn’t even remember until 3 days later while washing my hair in the shower!  ugh.  But I decided to make up for it with food, because while cliche, it is true that the way to my husband’s heart is through his stomach.  And the perfect dish for this?  Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

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PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR COOKING ‘KIT’

You are busy, so these are the steps you can do a day or two in advance to prepare food ahead!  Actually, this ENTIRE Bolognese can be made in advance, however, I will still give you some prep-ahead steps if you want to run the slow cooker on the week day so you come home to the amazing smell of DINNER BOLOGNESE!

(See the recipe below for more details)

Let’s start with the ingredients.  It may seem like a lot, but you only really need to potentially chop/mince 5 items: the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and parsley.  And EVERYTHING goes into ONE POT!

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • So first, dice the Carrots, Celery, and Onions.
  • Open the can of whole peeled tomatoes and break them up either with a fork in a bowl or with your fingers, squeezing them gently to crush and break up.  Set aside.
  • Dice the Pancetta.
    • TIP:  You can get this already diced!  I like to use Citterio Cubetti Pancetta that comes in a 4oz container, so perfect!
  • To a preheated skillet, add the diced pancetta and cook down until the fat renders then scoop the pancetta out with a slotted spoon and put into the slow cooker.

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • To the fat in the pan, add the ground beef and break it up with a spatula.  Let the meat sear and get brown, then stir to brown on all sides.  Then transfer it to the slow cooker.  If you don’t have a Slow Cooker, click here to see the Crock-Pot that I have and love!

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • Next, add the carrots, celery, and onion to the skillet.  Add a little olive oil if needed.  Saute for 5 minutes until they start to sweat and soften.  Add the garlic and the wine and cook down for another 3 minutes, then transfer everything to the slow cooker.

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • Next add the demi-glace, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, Bay Leaf, Salt, and Pepper to taste.
    • What is Demi-Glace?  Well, it is a condensed broth base that is made from simmering bones and flavors for days which extracts the gelatin from the bones, concentrates the flavors and thickens the sauce.  When added to this Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese recipe, it set it apart from all other meat sauces!  I also use it in my Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe!!

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • Finally add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, Bay Leaf, Salt, and Pepper to taste.  Then Mix to combine.

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • Now…this is the point that you can cover and place the entire slow cooker pot in the fridge until the day you want to cook it OR just cook it now for 6-8 hours.  If you cook on a Sunday you can either eat it or save it in the fridge and reheat it on the stove during the week.

COOK YOUR MEAL:

  • Cook the Fettuccine according to package instructions.  I love this amazing Gluten-Free Fresh Fettuccine Pasta from RP’s Pasta Company.  It is made from Brown Rice Flour and tastes like the real deal!  My picky husband could not tell that this was gluten-free.
  • When the bolognese is done, give it a stir and then add the cooked pasta and gently stir to combine.  Toss in the fresh chopped parsley, leaving some for garnish.

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

  • Plate a heaping scoop of the pasta and bolognese onto plates.  Freshly shave or grate parmesan onto the plated fettuccine with Bolognese, add one final sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

That’s it!  ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

 

 

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY by cooking it in the slow cooker!  Beef bolognese is a traditionally cooked slowly on the stove for hours so that the flavors of the tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, wine and meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce.  My recipe adds even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace and then it all cooks in the slow cooker so you can go about your busy day!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Slow Cooker 8 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Pancetta, diced
  • 16 oz Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup Celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 tbls Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Crushed
  • 1/2 cup Dry Red wine
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shaved or grated
  • 8 oz Fettuccine, Fresh Gluten-Free or Regular

Instructions

Prep-Ahead

  1. Dice the carrots, celery, and onion.  Set aside.  TIP: you can find these already diced in most grocery stores and sometimes already in a combined container labeled as Mirepoix! 

  2. Open the can of whole peeled tomatoes and break them up either with a fork in a bowl or with your fingers, squeezing them gently to crush and break up.  Set aside.

  3. To a preheated skillet, add the diced pancetta and cook down until the fat renders about 5-6 minutes.  Then scoop the pancetta out with a slotted spoon or spatula and put into the slow cooker.

    Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!
  4. To the fat in the pan, add the ground beef and break it up with a spatula.  Let the meat sear and get brown, then stir to brown on all sides. When the meat is done cooking, transfer it to the slow cooker.

    Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!
  5. Next, add the carrots, celery, and onion to the skillet.  Add a little olive oil if needed.  Saute for 5 minutes until they start to sweat and soften.  

    Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!
  6. Add the garlic and red wine and cook down for about 3-4 minutes. Then transfer to the slow cooker.
  7. Finally to the Slow cooker add: The demi-glace, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, Bay Leaf, Salt, and Pepper to taste.

    Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!
  8. Now...this is the point that you can cover and place the entire slow cooker pot in the fridge until the day you want to cook it OR just cook it now for 6-8 hours.  If you cook on a Sunday you can either eat it or save it in the fridge and reheat it on the stove during the week.

Cook Meal!

  1. Whether you do this step day(s) ahead or a weeknight morning for later that night, simply place the slow cooker pot back in the cooker and then set it to either 6 hours or 8 hours, depending on how long you will be gone.  Both will be just fine.

  2. Cook the Fettuccine according to package instructions.  If you went with the Gluten-Free fettuccine, as I did, be sure to really drain and then rinse the cooked pasta.  GF pasta can be very starchy and sticky, so you want to rinse the excess starch off before adding it to your bolognese.  

  3. When the bolognese is done, give it a stir and then add the cooked pasta and gently stir to combine.  Toss in the fresh chopped parsley, leaving some for garnish.  

    Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!
  4. Plate a heaping scoop of the pasta and bolognese onto plates.  Freshly shave or grate parmesan onto the plated fettuccine with Bolognese, add one final sprinkle of fresh parsley and Enjoy!!

    Anniversary Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese is a souped-up version of the traditional Italian Meat Sauce made EASY in the slow cooker! The flavors of the ingredients with the meat become one and turn into this amazing thick sauce. I add even MORE FLAVOR with Pancetta and Demi-Glace. Delicious!

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