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Monday, September 19, 2022

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce, delicious any day of the week!

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce, is the perfect way to use what you have and create a delicious dinner in the process! Come and take a look at this easy process.

We have been quite busy with a lengthy list of tasks to get done for our upcoming trip to Arizona. After a few years of not being able to travel for winter time volunteering with NPS, we are set to spend the winter in Arizona and we are really looking forward to it! With hundreds of miles of hiking trails, meeting new people every day, not to mention the warm Arizona winter we couldn't be happier...

One task we have been working hard on is eating down the freezer! If not completely at least to the point where whatever food remains, will fit into our little cross-top freezer in the 5thwheel. When I took an inventory a couple days ago I found an odd assortment and knew right away what I would make, a large Slow Cooker full of Sunday Sauce. Now Sunday Sauce is simply slow-cooked red sauce that has an assortment of meat added. It is the perfect pasta sauce to use what you already have and enjoy a delicious dinner in the process. Plus this makes enough for two or more dinners!

Every cook has their own special way they make Sunday Sauce for the family and I will state right now, that not only am I not Italian, but I am also not an expert on how this is done. What I do know is that good ingredients will always come together deliciously in a recipe and this one is no exception. I have a formula more than a recipe because this allows me to use what I have on hand and the small changes from one batch to another are enjoyable!

For many, Sunday Sauce must contain cooked and sliced sausages! Around here we often have homemade sausage in the freezer, but usually in bulk form. However, bulk sausage is perfect to make into meatballs! I do like the following meat options, but rest assured you may add or subtract as desired. You may also use as much or as little meat as you wish. Since we were wanting to use up these different packages from the freezer, this version is rich in meat.  But I do enjoy using the following for my Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce.
  • in our house Meatballs are mandatory. 
  • Cubed meat so everyone will have a variety of textures and get plenty of protein for dinner.
  • And shredded meat. This could be a single pork steak or chop like in today's batch. But I have also used slices of beef shank with wonderful results. 
Personally, I like to cook this sauce for two days, but do keep in mind, that this is mostly cooking time and not hands-on. At the end of the first day, refrigerate the sauce overnight. The next morning, return the sauce to a simmer before adding the meatballs. They simply poach in the Sunday Sauce until it is time for dinner. 

Enjoy making Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce your own way, and remember there is no right or wrong way to cook a red sauce. The following is not a recipe as much as a process of creating a delicious dinner using what you have on hand.  

Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • ground beef or bulk Italian sausage
  • choice of meat for cubed meat
  • choice of meat for the shredded meat
  • crushed tomatoes
  • onion
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • marjoram
  • oregano
  • salt 
  • pepper
You will also need the following:
  • cutting board
  • kitchen knife
  • kitchen spoon
  • skillet
  • large slow cooker
Now we are ready to begin!

Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce
by the seat of my pants

3 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 large onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
olive oil
1 pork steak or sliced beef shank 
1/2 - 1 pound beef, pork, or chicken thigh meat
1 pound of lean ground beef
Parmesan cheese
1 egg

Peel and dice the onion. Add olive oil to a large skillet, and saute the onion until translucent. Spread the sauteed onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Open the crushed tomatoes and pour over the onions.

Cut the meat that you are using into 1/2-inch cubes.  

If needed add more oil to the skillet, and brown the cubed meat. Add the cubed meat to the slow cooker.

Now brown the pork steak on both sides. 

Add to the slow cooker along with Marjoram and Oregano to taste. Season with Salt and Pepper. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the mixture is simmering. Reduce the heat to low and let cook for up to six hours. 

At the end of the cooking time, remove the pork steak, shred and return it to the sauce. 

While the sauce is cooking, make the meatballs. 

Combine the ground beef and the egg along with 1/2 - 3/4 c Parmesan Cheese.

When mixed thoroughly make small bite-sized meatballs. Cover and refrigerate until needed. 

At the end of the first day, refrigerate the sauce. 

The next morning, return the slow cooker to the heating base and cook on high for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the sauce is simmering. 

Add the meatballs, again reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for 4-6 hours. 

After adding the meatballs if desired you may offset the lid to get a thicker sauce.

Makes enough sauce for 2 pounds of pasta. 

To serve, cook pasta and save a bit of the cooking water. Toss the drained pasta with the sauce adding a bit of the pasta water if desired. Sever with Parmesan cheese at the table. 

The sauce freezes wonderfully. 



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Would you like to comment?

  1. This is one of those perfect cosy home meals. Perfect for the fall. Yum

    1. Thanks! Also a great recipe to use what you have on hand. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  2. That sounds delicious! My mom always made ours with large chunks of pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage, and meatballs. She only made it once or twice a year though and we just loved that the whole house smelled amazing.

  3. That sounds delicious! I love hearing about food customs that others have enjoyed.

  4. My friend makes the best sauce, I can't wait for Sunday Sauce season.

    1. There is nothing like a family dinner with a big pot of Sunday Sauce Pasta to pass around! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.


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