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Friday, October 7, 2011

Bolognaise

One of my favourite dishes growing up was bolognaise, but only the bolognaise my mother made. In fact, I loved it so much that it was a Tuesday tradition that spaghetti bolognaise would be served up just for my pleasure! I guess you could say I was a little spoiled in that respect.

Yet, when I was about 18 years old and moved out of home I hadn’t had much experience cooking anything other than spicy Mexican food myself, so one Tuesday night, when I decided I wanted bolognaise, I really didn’t have a clue what to do or how to make it, other than mixing a variety of red things, and a lot of hope, together.

Years later, however, I have far more faith in my bolognaise sauce, although I must admit my first attempt wasn’t that bad, though as all youth, needed years to grow and mature.

One more note, I might mention, is the way I use carrot in this recipe.  A lot of people will grate or finely dice the carrot for their bolognaise as the sweetness of the carrot balances the acidity of the tomatoes, however I don’t like chunks or strips of orange carrot in my rich crimson sauce, and as such use chunks so that we get that sweetness without the actually having to eat the carrot itself. Call me a purist if you must, but I much prefer my brilliant ruby bolognaise to remain as red as possible!

What Will I Need?

500g mince
1 tbs oil
1 onion, fine diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 tbs tomato paste
400g tinned diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cup Red Wine (I use shiraz)
1 cup beef stock
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp thyme, dried
1 carrot, peeled and in four pieces

What Now?
 

1.             In a large sauce heat add oil, onion and garlic and stir over a medium heat until onion has softened and garlic is fragrant.

2.             Turn the heat up to medium and then add the mince, and allow brown (it doesn’t need ot be browned thoroughly, 90%ish will do considering this has a far while left to allow to cook through thoroughly!). Do not mash the mine and be gentle when stirring, after all, we want to be able to remember this dish has meat in it!

3.             Add tinned tomatoes, tomato paste,a nd red wine and bring it all to the boil over a high heat, before adding stock cubes and water.

4.             Once again bring to the boil, stirring everything thoroughly, and then add oregano, thyme and the chunky carrot pieces.

5.             Reduce to a simmer and allow to gently bubble away for about 30 minutes or until all the excess liquid has been absorbed and cooked away.

6.             Once the meat has absorbed all the liquid, and it is of a rich, thick consistency, remove carrot and dispose (or eat for a special treat!).

7.             Serve your bolognaise with spaghetti or fettuccine and garnish with a generous serve of freshly grated parmesan cheese!