- 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 (28- ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Heat a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. (Alternately if your slow cooker has a saute setting you can do these steps using that feature.) Add the pancetta and cook, stirring until the fat renders, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the butter, onion, celery, and carrots and cook until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add the garlic and ground beef, and season it with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it browns, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook 3 to 4 minutes to reduce slightly. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and more pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
- Discard bay leaves, stir in half and half, and parsley and serve.
Slight adaptations I made:
* I used bacon instead of pancetta and omitted the butter, using the bacon grease to saute the vegetables.
*I added 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper when I added the tomato sauce.