Hello Frugalista Moms! It’s crazy Tuesday once again. You know that day of the week when everyone in the family is rushing from one activity to the next. Child #2 has this at 4 pm while Child #1 needs to be there at 5:30 pm, pick up Child #3 at…. and so on. Pre-food allergy diagnosis, this is the day wherein the fastfood drive thru window is my best friend. A lot has changed though. With a little planning and sometimes the help of my new BFF (the slowcooker), I can have dinner, snack and even next day the children’s lunch covered.
One of my ever reliable recipes is this easy Beef Ragu. This basic recipe is so versatile, a bunch of new dishes can be made from just a big pot of it such as:
1. Serve on top of your favorite pasta for Pasta & Meat Sauce
2. Add some rinsed canned beans and chili powder – Easy Chili n Beans
3. On top of corn chips and shredded Daiya cheddar style cheese – Nachos
4. With some rolls (gluten free of course!) – Sloppy Joe sliders
5. On top of pizza crust – Easy Meat Pizza
Feel free to double the recipe too. It freezes quite well. A great use for all those ground meat you bought on sale. Plus you’ll also have something waiting in the freezer for busy days such as my crazy Tuesday. Wink.. wink… I always have some of these in 1 cup containers that I serve as a hearty dip for my growing happy eaters.
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp garlic minced
1/2 cup onions chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs course sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbs fresh basil chopped
1. In a big pot, heat olive oil and brown the meat.
2. Once the ground beef has browned, add the garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, rosemary and tomatoes. Mix well and bring to a boil.
3. Season with 1 Tbs salt and ground pepper.
4. Simmer for 30 – 90 minutes. The longer you simmer it, the more flavorful it gets. Mix every 10 minutes to prevent the sticking.
5. After your preferred simmering time, taste to make sure if you need more salt. Some canned crushed tomatoes have added salt. The once I used only contains tomatoes that’s why I need the extra 1/2 tsp. Also, take note that I have used course salt in the recipe.
6. Turn off heat, stir in the fresh basil and serve over pasta, rice and even steamed veggies.
This recipe can easily be made in the crock pot. Just brown the meat before putting it in a slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients except the fresh basil. Mix in the basil just before serving.