Slow-Cooked Big Batch Bolognese


  • Prep Time45 mins
  • Total Time9 hrs
  • Makes12 servings
Slow-Cooked Big Batch Bolognese

Hearty bolognese lends itself to many dishes, for our meaty recipe, the slow cooker does most of the work.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 carrots, finely chopped

  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 500 g ground beef

  • 500 g ground pork

  • 250 g Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 156-mL can tomato paste

  • 1 680-mL bottle passata, (strained tomatoes)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 1/4 cup 10% cream


  • Heat an extra-large frying pan over medium. Add 1 tbsp oil, then garlic, carrots, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 min. Trans-fer to a slow cooker.

  • Set same pan over medium-high. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil, then beef, pork and sausage. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, 5 to 6 min. Stir in red wine and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 5 min. Transfer to slow cooker.

  • Stir passata, salt, oregano and basil into slow cooker. Season with fresh pepper. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.

  • Turn off slow cooker and skim any fat off the surface. Stir in cream. If not using right away, divide sauce among 3 resealable containers (about 3 cups each). To quickly cool sauce down, place uncovered containers in kitchen sink. Fill sink to about halfway up the sides of containers with cold tap water and ice. Let cool, stirring every 5 min, for 15 min. Cover and freeze.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 263, Protein 20g, Carbohydrates 10g, Fat 15g, Fibre 2g, Sodium 540mg.

Make-ahead tip

Prep and cook vegetable and meat mixture. Transfer to slow cooker. Let cool for 1 hour. Cover slow cooker insert with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove insert from refrigerator and place in slow cooker. Add passata, salt and spices. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Freezing tip

Once sauce is cooked, transfer to a large metal bowl. Follow the same cooling directions above, filling the kitchen sink with water and ice so that water goes halfway up the side of the bowl. Let cool, stirring often, for 10 min. Divide sauce among 3 large zip-top bags. Seal, removing as much air from the bag as possible. Lay flat on a small baking sheet and freeze. Remove baking sheet and store bags in freezer up to 1 month. To thaw, defrost one portion in refrigerator overnight before using. Reheat in a medium saucepan over medium-high, stirring often, about 8 minutes.

Originally published in the Today’s Parent January 2016 issue, this recipe has a triple-tested guarantee from the Chatelaine Kitchen. Photo by Roberto Caruso.

This article was originally published on Dec 08, 2015

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