I used sherry in this sauce, because I happened to not have any red wine on hand that was appropriate for cooking. Shocking, I know, but I've been drinking a lot more cider and beer lately. The only time I think about red wine is when I need it for cooking! And then I reach for the sherry, because it works pretty well in place of red wine in something like a pot roast or meat sauce.
Also, since I understand bolognese should be a smoooooth meaty sauce, I used my immersion blender to smooth out the chunks of beef and mushroom before adding the milk. This isn't a necessary step, and one I don't usually take, so I did not include it in the recipe below. (The Husband opined that, while he appreciated the even consistency of the sauce, he did not feel it was necessary).
Lazy Sunday Meat SauceIn a perfect world, I would serve this over tagliatelle, but since I cannot find tagliatelle locally, we ate it over impulse curlicue pasta and it was fine. (I think, at this point, I need to write up a grocery "wish list" then chuck a cooler in the car and drive around the state until I've acquired everything on the darn list).
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup grated carrots
1 small red onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 lb 85% lean ground beef [Full Circle Grass Fed Organic]
3 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend [Whole Spice]
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 6.35 oz jar tomato paste [Lowell Foods]
½ cup sherry [Taylor]
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
¼ cup freeze-dried diced bell peppers
2 14.5oz cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 dipper honey (How much is that? Maybe, a tablespoon?)
½ cup whole milk
Salt & pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large French/Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and celery and cook for a few minutes. Shove everything toward the edges of the pot and add the ground beef to the cleared middle. Sprinkle with the salt-free Italian seasoning blend and parsley. Cook for a few minutes until browned, then break up and stir into the vegetable mixture.
Add tomato paste, sherry, and Worcestershire and stir. Add peppers and tomatoes and stir. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes. Drizzle in a dipper of honey. Stir in milk, cover, and let simmer 30-60 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.