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In a large deep pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until softened (8-10 mins). Add garlic and 1/2 cup parsley and stir 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker.
In the same pan (without washing it), add ground beef, season with 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and sauté until cooked through and no longer red (6-10 mins). For leaner sauce, you can spoon off and discard excess oil at this point keeping 3 Tbsp oil in the pan. Add 1 cup white wine and sauté on med/high heat until wine has completely evaporated (8-10 mins). Transfer meat to slow cooker.
Add 1 cup milk, 1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp sugar, and both cans of tomatoes with juice and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. If it it seems too liquidy, let it cook with the lid off for the last 30 minutes.
Season with more salt to taste (I added nearly 1 tsp more salt). Serve generous amounts of bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta, topped with cheese and garnished with fresh parsley.