It’s been one of those weeks, one of those comfort food weeks.
We’ve had some worries about Baby Sophie, some trips to the hospital, some scary tests. I had a glimpse of another motherhood, one filled with waiting rooms, kind technicians, and fear that makes you want to hold your baby close and cover her with kisses for hours until she squeals to be free. Thankfully, all seems to be okay, but I gave her an extra dozen kisses just in case.
Of course with four kids, life is always hectic. On top of all the medical anxiety, there was also the start of the baseball season and preparations for dance recitals. Throw in homework and keeping everyone somewhat dirt free, and you have a schedule so packed there hasn’t been much time for cooking.
On Tuesday I caved and brought home a huge bag of Boston Market chicken and sides for dinner. Jack looked up with teary eyes of gratefulness and told me that this was the greatest dinner I had “made” in months. Lovely. I clearly need to work to improve his idea of comfort food. That meal served out of plastic containers made me want to cry.
True comfort food should be homemade, it needs to comfort me as I am making it before I am eating it.
I need to make the butter sing.
I need to feel the sting of the onions as I cut them, the pain of the tears sweet relief.
I need to smell the meat browning, caramelizing, melding with everything else in the pan.
I need to see the cream swirl with the tomato, dancing a slow tango.
I need my home to fill slowly with all those tastes, bringing everyone into the kitchen one by one, asking, “What smells so good? When’s dinner?”
And finally, I need to see all those smiling faces around the dinner table, laughing, talking, and making the stress of the day a distant memory.
There are few things that my entire family agrees on at the dinner table, but they are unanimous that this sauce is their favorite dinner. This is comfort food for the entire family.
- 2 Pounds of Ground Beef (preferably higher fat ground chuck)
- 1 Can (27 ounces) of San Marzano peeled tomatoes
- 1 Can (27 ounces) of Tomato Puree
- 1 large Yellow or Vidalia Onion, diced finely
- 1/3 Cups of Heavy Cream
- 4 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1/4 cups of parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to your liking
- In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the diced onion and saute for 4-5 minutes, until soft and glistening.
- Add the ground beef and saute for another 4-5 minutes, until browned.
- Add the Parmesan and stir to mix.
- Pour in the tomato puree and the crushed tomatoes. Mash up the crushed tomatoes with a wooden spoon or (even better if you have one) with a potato masher. I like to use both kinds of tomatoes to add a little more texture.
- Add the brown sugar and either cover your stockpot and cook on low for 2 hours, or set it to cook on high in a slow cooker for 2 hours. Stir periodically.
- Add the heavy cream and cook for another 15 minutes to blend.
- Spoon over spaghetti or angel hair. Enjoy!