Introduction: Best Meat Sauce (cheap) W/ Beer
This is how I make my pasta meat sauce, which i get many compliments on. I'm in college, so i make it cheap, and when I'm in a pinch i can make it extra cheap without sacrificing flavor. I'm going to show you how i make it when i have a full refrigerator, i.e. the beginning of the month. This means that it will be the way that i like it (HOT & SPICY), but i will tell you what to do if its your end of the month, if you don't like it hot, or you just don't want to spend a lot of money on a good and hearty meal.
this is a deviation of my mothers spaghetti sauce, except i think that this is better, cheaper, easier, and faster (don't tell my mom that though)
Step 1: Ingredients
I recommend that you buy as much of these ingredients from Costco or someplace similar.
This will cut the cost and you'll have stuff left over to make it again. I got almost everything from Costco.
- 2 large yellow onions
- 1 pack of ground meat
- 4 large Italian style sausages
- 1 jar of pasta sauce
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- a lot of garlic
- oil (i use olive oil but i don't think it matters much)
These are the mandatory ingredients
but i like to add:
- 2-3 large jalapenos peppers (pickled or fresh)
- 1/2-1 can of beer (i like to use Budweiser, but i used nicer beer this time)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- salt, pepper, paprika, Tabasco, anything else you like or have
I used ground turkey because it is cheaper then beef. if you have ground beef, pork, etc. use it instead. its a lot better then turkey. unless you are a health nut.
The sausage that i used is Italian. it comes in huge packages at Costco.
Caution... i used a very large pan, which a lot of people might not have and i filled it to the brim, so make sure you have something big to cook this in.
I use a jar of sauce because its a lot faster. i started making this sauce as a way to make this plain jar of sauce better. My mother's sauce is from scratch, but i think this is a lot easier, and if you buy the 3 packs from Costco, i think its really cheap. Its not any good by itself, unless you are in a big hurry to make dinner.
Step 2: Food Preparation
always remember that a knife doesn't know the difference between meat and your fingers.
- *defrost ground meat and sausage if needed*
- open the cans
- chop the onions
- chop the jalapenos
- dice garlic
- drink beer, (when applicable and available)
- i fully defrost the ground meat, but the sausage is a different story.
i slice it into 1/4 rounds and then cut them each into 4 pieces. i like to leave a few of them a little larger then the rest of them for a treat. i like sausage.
Step 3: Pan Fry
Add the chopped onions, garlic, ground meat, and sausage to the pan, with oil and water.
I just guesstimate the amount of oil and water, so ... a slash of oil and a cup of water or so.
I just throw it all in there and cook it. simple as that
I cook everything completely and then drain out the liquid
i don't drain the liquid for health reasons... i do it because if you don't it will be way too oily.
I've done it this way before, and it is not good, it is edible, but not that good.
When cooking it, i like to add a little seasoning. i use Pappy's seasoning usually, which is for meat rubs so it is very salty... lol (meat rubs) -like everything else, i got it from Costco- it is not necessary to the recipe.
Step 4: Cooking the Sauce
Now put the pan back on the stove at a lower heat.
- jar of sauce
- cans of diced tomatoes
- jalapenos (if desired)
Stir all of that in completely and bring it to a very slow boil.
I then add beer. Like i said earlier, i usually use Budweiser, but i didn't this time. The beer i used added good flavor but it didn't make it as rich as the Budweiser did. I'm in college so there is always beer in the refrigerator. If you don't have beer, don't worry about it. It will add good flavor and it is my (not so secret) ingredient, but is not mandatory for the sauce.
i then add most or all of the seasonings. the bay leaves, paprika, Tabasco, etc.
sometimes i wait to add the seasonings until after simmering, but its not a big deal. except for the bay leaves, you need to add them now.
note that i added a handful of pearl onions at this step... i was just using them up. they didn't taste good in this and i ended up eating most of them before it was done just to get rid of them.
Step 5: Simmering and Serving
Put a lid on it, and simmer.
I usually simmer for 30mins, but if I'm starving i don't wait that long. I wouldn't let it simmer for more then a hour, but sometimes i find it necessary, if I've added too much beer, etc.
Boil noddles while its simmers or when ever you are going to eat it, and serve.
I don't like to mix noddles and the sauce. I add the sauce on top of the noddles.
I added Tabasco's Habanero sauce to it just before serving... not mandatory, and i only do this if my girlfriend is out of town.
As a side note; i didn't buy the garlic. My girlfriend's family lives in a rural area and the field next to their house was 150 acres of garlic. I wouldn't have spent money on fresh garlic if i didn't get it from the field... i would have used garlic powder.