27 April 2013

Cloudy with a Chance of Bolognese

This week I baked a lasagne for our neighbours to welcome them home following a recent family medical scare. And being the good samaritan, I made a very large batch of sauce ensuring leftovers for my family to enjoy, too. 

A bolognese sauce can be served with the standard classic pastas, but also with other Italian favourites like layering up a lasagne or as a topping for a pizza. Keep some in the refrigerator to have on the ready for quick meals for the family, and freeze a batch for another day. 
tip: Do not refreeze once thawed. If refrigerated, use within one week. 
In the below recipe I used three meats- lamb, pork and beef. The same recipe works if you wish to stick to beef only. Aside from a rich layered flavour, combining the traditional beef with pork and lamb results in a more moist sauce. 

Bolognese, using three meats
serves 6-8 adults
prep time 1hr-1.5hrs
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • Porcini mushrooms (White Cap Buttons work just as well-- and cost less!)
  • 1 large heirloom tomato (or 4-6 summer tomatoes)
  • olive oil
  • 1/4- 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (fresh herb preferred where available)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (fresh herb preferred where available)
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh herb preferred where available)

tip: leave bay leaves in the bolognese to continue enriching flavours for future reheats.

  • 1 lb (500g) good quality lean minced beef
  • 1/2 lb (115g) minced lamb
  • 1/2 lb (115g) minced pork 
  • 1 x 1/2 lb (250g) tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 1/2 lb (250g) ready made tomato, basil, garlic pasta sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  • crushed red pepper (optional for those who like some heat)

  1.  Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and bell pepper – flawless MasterChef chopping not required!
  2. Place a large pan on a medium to high heat.
  3. Pour a generous lug of olive oil, add mince, and cook through until browned. Use a wooden spoon to break up the mince into bite size chunks. 
  4. Strain off fat and set meat aside.
  5. In same pan, add two generous lugs of olive oil and saute garlic and onions. Once onions are nearly cooked, add in remaining vegetables-- except the tomato!
  6. Stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened.
  7.  Add cooked mince to the vegetables.
  8. Add the tinned tomatoes, ready made pasta sauce, and chopped fresh tomato. 
  9. Add 1/4 bottle of red wine.*
  10. Add in bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and a good dash of salt and pepper*.
  11. Cover sauce and reduce heat. Leave to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning or going dry. If sauce seems too dry, add some water or few splashes of red wine. If time allows, you can simmer uncovered for a further 30-minutes. 
  12. Taste and season further to preference.
* If you like a slight tang flavour, add in a splash or two of balsamic vinegar.
* Season with salt and pepper at the end, and be sure to taste test to avoid over salting

At this stage you can keep it warm while you cook your pasta or build your lasagna. Otherwise, allow it to cool then bag it up, freeze it, and be chuffed to bits for having a jumpstart on your family's dinners!

Buon appetito!

1 comment:

  1. Love your photos . . .looks so appealing. Can't wait to try your recipe and see if mine turns out as well as yours! Keep 'em coming!


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