Sauce - Cooking start

Note that this is a super-scaled up version of my regular recipe.
Serves: 30-50 people depending on ladle size


  • 3 Pounds Ground Beef (I used 92% lean)
  • 3 Pounds Sweet Italian Sausage (bulk or removed from casing)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Stick (4T) Butter
  • 3 Pounds (about 8 cups) Sliced Mushrooms (I used Portabella)
  • 2 Large Yellow Onions (about 8 cups), diced to 1/4″
  • 20 Cloves Garlic, diced to 1/8″
  • 106 Ounces (#10 can) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 150 Ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 18 Ounces Tomato Paste
  • 4 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon (divided into 2 parts)
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 Whole Bay Leaves


  1. In a large stockpot, over medium heat, add all the meat.  Cook meat, chopping it up and turning it often until all meat is cooked.  Set a heat-resistant colander in the sink, pour cooked meat into colander to drain grease.  I leave the in the colander while I’m doing the next couple of steps
  2. Reusing the large stock pot from the previous step, heat oil and butter over medium heat
  3. Add mushrooms to heated oil / butter, stir well to coat, cover and  simmer for about 15 minutes, or until soft, stirring every 5 minutes
  4. Add onions and garlic to mushrooms, increase heat to medium high, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until soft, stirring every 5 minutes
  5. Add 1-1/2 cups water to cooking well of roaster, add a roaster liner and turn roaster on to 275 degrees
  6. Add drained meat to roaster, place colander back into sink and pour mushrooms / onions / garlic into colander to drain
  7. Add drained mushrooms / onions / garlic to roaster, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and all spices (using only half the cinnamon at this point) to roaster, stir to incorporate well, then cover roaster with lid
  8. Stir sauce every 15 to 30 minutes, scraping sides well as that is where the heat band is in the roaster
  9. Cook for 4 to 6 hours.  Adjust spices as you see fit.  Add remaining cinnamon if you wish.  Remove bay leaves before serving / storing


  • The amount of all spices, vegetables and meat can and should be tailored to your taste
  • While cooking sauce, if the consistency is to thick or too thin for your needs, thin it by adding more tomato sauce or water and thicken it by adding more tomato paste


Ingredients - less the meat, onions and mushrooms Mushrooms - Cooking down, covered for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes Onion and Garlic added to Mushrooms - Cooking down, covered for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
Sauce - Adding ingredients together in roaster Sauce - Cooking start

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