1½ kg lean minced beef (or use half beef, half pork mince)
6 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
6 tbsp tomato purée
large glass red wine (optional)
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Parmesan, to serve
If you want to use a slow cooker...
Fry your bacon and mince off in batches in a large pan until browned. Put into your slow cooker, add the veg, garlic, herbs, 4 x 400g cans tomatoes, tomato purée, wine, vinegar, sugar and seasoning. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours, then uncover, turn to High and cook for another hour until thick and saucy.
Use lamb mince instead of beef,
swap the mixed herbs for 2 tbsp
each ground cinnamon and
cumin, and use 2 handfuls dried
apricots instead of mushrooms.
Boil 2kg potatoes until tender,
drain, then mash with 100g butter
and 100g grated cheese. Spoon
the mince between 2 large baking
dishes and top with the mash. Bake
at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 until golden
Heat the oil in a very large saucepan. Gently cook the bacon, onions, carrots and celery for 20 mins until golden. Add the garlic, herbs, bay and mushrooms, then cook for 2 mins more.
Heat a large frying pan until really hot. Crumble in just enough mince to cover the pan, cook until brown, then tip in with the veg. Continue to fry the mince in batches until used up. Tip the tomatoes and purée in with the mince and veg. Rinse the cans out with the red wine, if you have some, or with a little water, then add to the pan with the vinegar and sugar. Season generously and bring to a simmer. Simmer slowly for 1 hr until thick and saucy and the mince is tender. Serve with pasta and Parmesan.