December 1st, 2010

Bolognese sauce

I made bolognese sauce today. I’m semi-famous for my bolognese amongst certain friends, which is a little odd because I always seem to make it a different way.

I use different a mix of meats (always beef; sometimes pork, veal, or chicken – this time beef, veal and pork), different vegetables (always onion and fresh or tinned tomato – this time carrot and lemon zest too), different herbs (always parsley – this time with sage, thyme and basil), different stocks (beef, chicken or veal – this time chicken), sometimes bacon or pancetta (not this time), sometimes tomato paste (this time lots). Always salt and garlic and pepper and bay leaves. And always plenty of red wine.

The “secret” (if you could call it that) is to roast the meat first (this time I added some tomato and tomato paste). That way you can caramelise the meat without having to worry about it steaming in the pan, and you get a rich roasted flavour in the sauce.

The other “secret” is to simmer, slowly, for a long time – today I left it going for about 3 hours – that way the meat becomes soft (no chewy bits) and the flavours all meld nicely. We’re not eating any of the sauce tonight – instead it’s going in to containers in the freezer for quick after work meals and in to a lasagne for Friday.

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