5 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole large yellow onions, diced
2 whole green bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (or low sodium beef broth if you prefer)
2 cans (28 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 oz. size) tomato paste
1-2 jars storebought marinara sauce (use 2 if you like the sauce to be more saucy than meaty)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground thyme
4 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes), more to taste
1 whole rind from one wedge parmesan (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
IMPORTANT: This recipe can easily be halved! I just like to make a ton so I can freeze it.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.
Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.
Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.
After an hour, add the minced parsley and the rind from a wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan if you prefer–or both!) Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks