(enough for 2 as a main course, will keep chilled for 3 days or can be frozen)
- 300g minced beef
- 1 large onion – finely chopped
- 1 large carrot – finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery – finely chopped
- *1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbs sunflower oil
- Salt pepper
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- 1 tsp or more oregano (optional)
*if you only have whole plum tomatoes, you can chop them up in the saucepan with a wooden spoon
- Heat the oil in a saucepan until hot.
- Place the onions in the pan, they should sizzle, but not burn.
- Stir with a wooden spoon.
- Add the carrot and celery (and garlic and oregano) and sweat for 5 minutes.
- Add the mince and break up with wooden spoon. Keep cooking and mixing until no lumps.
- Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Stir, then cover or not. Cook for 15 – 60 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
(The longer you cook this for the better the flavour).
This sauce is great with spaghetti or any pasta shape, with gnocci, rice or a baked potato.
You can place the mixture in a casserole dish and top with puff pastry and bake in the oven – a pie, or place mash on top – cottage pie.
You can add other ingredients to this mixture, either to bulk it out or vary the taste. If you want to feed more people or can’t afford as much mince, add a tin of baked beans or more diced vegetables. It is a great way to use up limp celery and peppers, mushrooms that are reaching the end of their life. Just chop up any vegetable and add.
You can convert this to a chilli. Add some diced chilli or chilli powder when you add the salt and pepper (always add a little to start and add more if necessary). Add 1 tin of kidney beans (or baked beans) for the last 20 minutes of cooking. I really like to add a bit of ground cumin (1/2 tsp) and coconut cream (about 1/6 pack) too. If you follow the above recipe, then it will feed 5 people. If you want to be really experimental put a couple of squares of dark chocolate into the mixture.