Few things beat the heartiness and versatility of a classic Italian meat and tomato sauce like this Simple Beef Ragu. Take the basic recipe and make it your own - add extra vegetables, fresh herbs, or some spice. This is a great recipe to scale up. Make it for a crowd or make extra to freeze for later.
Keyword: easy dinner, sauce
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
1TbspCooking Oil(olive oil works great; I use grapeseed oil or avocado oil for most everyday cooking)
Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. (Note: if you are going to cook the entire sauce on the stovetop, be sure to use a pot that will hold all of the ingredients.)
When oil is hot, add beef, salt, and pepper.
Cook beef, breaking it apart with a spoon or spatula, until cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.
To Cook Sauce in the Instant Pot
Combine cooked beef, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, water, and crushed tomatoes in the bowl of a 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker.
Set pot to “sealing” and pressure cook on high for 6 minutes.
Leave sauce to release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
To Cook Sauce in the Slow Cooker
Combine cooked beef, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, water, and crushed tomatoes in the bowl of a 4 or 6 quart slow cooker.
Slow cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. (Note: It’s best to cook this on low; many slow cookers get so hot on the “high” setting that they can cause a tomato-based sauce to burn.)
To Cook Sauce on the Stovetop
Add garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, water, and crushed tomatoes.
Let sauce cook until it begins to bubble, 5 to 6 minutes.
Reduce heat so that the sauce is barely simmering and give it another good stir.
Place a lid on the pot and let it simmer gently for 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
Check the sauce occasionally to be sure it isn’t burning on the bottom and to reduce the heat if needed.
For All Cooking Methods
Stir sugar into the finished sauce. Taste and season the sauce with some salt and pepper or a bit more sugar, if needed until it tastes balanced.
This is a great recipe to double. Freeze the leftovers or use them to make Lasagna Bolognese.