Best Meat Sauce (cheap) W/ Beer




Introduction: Best Meat Sauce (cheap) W/ Beer

About: im a 3rd year at csu Sacramento, studying mechanical engineering and minoring in mathematics. im a BSA eagle scout. my interests are: working on things like cars and my truck, cooking, outdoors, weight lifti…

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

This is easy if you know how to chop, which I learned to do from working at "Pizza Factory" for 2 1/2 years when i was in high school. if you don't know how to do this... be careful. knives are sharp.
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 like to leave the sausage semi frozen so that you can chop it up more easily without the skin coming off and making a mess. --- if you for some reason dislike the sausage skin, then by all means take them off. but i don't recommend it.

The sausage:
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.

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    I've made this twice so far, and it's always well received. Thanks!

    BTW, I accidentally replaced one of the cans of diced tomatoes with "Diced tomatoes and green chilies." It worked out OK. Something you might want to try if you're ever pressed for time and don't want to bother chopping jalapenos peppers.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    ive never heard of beer in pasta sauce before, but ill try!

    have you ever tried adding a tin of anchovies to this recipe? i can really recommend it!!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I follow similar recipe for sauce as well for a meat chili (except for the sausage) And the only other thing I do different is brown the meat alone first, place it in a screen strainer and let the fat drip off it before I add all the other good stuff. And for the people who dont like "Pepper-Hot" i use "Colemans Mustard" (The powdered kind sold in the yellow tin) That lights the nasal passages but dissipates to nothing in a minute or two, unlike the Hot Peppers which heat stays in your mouth throughout the meal.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    good suggestion. this instructable is one of the ways that i make this sauce, and it is the most basic way of making it that i normally do. this is also the way that i make it when i want sauce but don't have a lot of time. i actually just made this sauce this afternoon for dinner, and my girlfriend was going to be eating it with me, so i added the jalapenos with the meat so that the heat would be cooked out of them longer. i then made up for the loss of flavor by adding a few large splashes of worcestershire sauce. it was very good if i don't say so myself. -- i to drain the oil and fat, i should buy a screen strainer. the screen strainer sounds like a good idea. i just tip the pan and drain as much as i can, but i always loose some of the meat / onions to the sink doing it this way.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I love how you say things like: "..i like to leave a few of them a little larger then the rest of them for a treat. i like sausage." and: "...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" Spoken like a true man and college student!! Also, awesome instructable, I wish I actually had the willpower to cook!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    thanks! i was trying to add my personality to it, and write the recipe the way that i would want to read it.


    Great Recipe! My hubby and I just quit our jobs and are going to school full time so cheap eats are a necessity. He is a meatasaurous so this recipe rocks on the protein packing front. Look out for garlic on sale at places like Shoppers, Safeway, ect. I have gotten 5 packs of fresh garlic heads for $1 or less and it really is a fresher flavor than garlic powder. Also I have not checked Costco, but Bj's (like Costco) has HUGE packs (10+) of garlic heads super cheap. (less than $5) Thanks for the instructable!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    thanks for the advise. i'll look for deals on garlic when i run out.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    *drool* I'm so hungry but I don't want to get out of bed!