My (and the Kids) Favorite Meat Sauce

I recently shared a recipe for Kid Friendly Casserole that contained green beans, which most kids like.
A reader, though, said the hotdish looked good but wondered if the beans could be pureed, so they would fly under her daughter’s kid-dar. I wrote back and said that probably would work. And I have some information that will back my thinking.
I make a meat sauce for pasta (we had it just last night) that my grandkids just love — and so does Therese. It’s simple to make and contains a couple of vegetables that some kids probably wouldn’t tolerate. And that includes my grandkids.
But I’ve found a way to get them to eat the sauce and even request seconds. I put the vegetables — carrots, mushrooms, onion and garlic — through a food processor so they’re indistinguishable when they’re mixed in with the browned ground meat, diced tomatoes and paste.
The recipe is one that I found in a cookbook and have tweaked. Instead of using thyme, which Therese doesn’t like, I use basil and oregano. I also triple the amount of sugar. I’ve found that to be the ingredient that separate a good tomato-based sauce from a great one.
My (and the Kids) Favorite Meat Sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-ounce cans ready-cut tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound lean ground meat such as beef, venison or elk
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
10 fresh mushrooms, diced
Salt to taste
In a saucepan, heat oil and lightly brown onion, carrot and garlic.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper and sugar. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, brown ground beef in skillet over medium-high heat, drain off fat.
Add meat and herbs to tomato mixture. Cover and simmer ½ hour, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook another 10 minutes.
Serve over pasta.
Yield: About 2 quarts.

5 thoughts on “My (and the Kids) Favorite Meat Sauce

  1. Love the meat sauce idea — vegetables under kid-radar is a good thing!!

    I was looking at your Hawaiin Venison recipe and have a question……… the directions say …..Pour Hawaiin sauce over meat mixture and simmer 5 minutes…….. What is the Hawaiin sauce? You’ve browned the meat, boiled the pepper and drained it, you are suppose to mix the pineapple and pepper into the meat and pour Hawaiin sauce over meat mixture and simmer 5 minutes.

    Define the Hawaiin sauce please.

    • I guess the recipe is a little confusing. The Hawaiian Sauce is what you get when you mix the pineapple and cooked peppers.

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