Hearty marinara with veggies and ground beef is the perfect way to turn tomatoes and garden veggies into freezer meals for the months ahead. Split the work into two days! Day One: Chop and cook tomatoes. Allow to cool, covered, overnight. Day Two: Strain tomatoes, add veggies and cook, add beef, herbs, and seasonings, then freeze.
- 12 quarts tomatoes, chopped
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 2–3 tablespoons fat or oil
- 3 cups onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup garlic, sliced
- 15 cups veggies, chopped: green beans, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unrefined sea salt, or to taste
- Add tomatoes to a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for several hours.
- Meanwhile, chop onions and slice garlic.
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and melt fat or oil. Add chopped onions and sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté briefly.
- Add ground beef and cook until browned. Set aside.
- Chop veggies: green beans, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots.
- Allow the tomatoes to cool slightly, then run them through a food mill. Discard the skins and seeds and return the tomato sauce to the pot.
- Add the chopped veggies to the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 hours, until veggies are soft and sauce is thick.
- Add the ground beef mixture to the tomato mixture. Simmer briefly to meld the flavors.
- Stir in basil, parsley, and salt. Taste and adjust as necessary.
- Cool slightly and transfer to freezer containers or freezer cubes. Freeze and enjoy later!