My Bolonese recipe

GTV V6

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Here's my recipe for bolonese sauce with a step by step guide... It isn't the only one but it uses simple easy to get ingredients and it tastes ace...

This lot will do for about 4 huge servings or 6 normal ones

You need

  • 700g of cheap steak
  • 1kg of tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 huge onion
  • 100g of bacon bits
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Bovril (This is a concentrated beef extract and not strictly necessary)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Chilli (I use 2 small birds eye chillies)
  • A bit of Pepper
  • A bit of olive oil
  • ...
  • ...
  • A big saucepan
  • A food blitzing device

So first prepare your stuff... Open the wine

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And make sure it's drinkable...

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(Yes I belong to the Keith Floyd school of cookery :D)

Peel and roughly chop veg.

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Take off all the gristly bits from the steak...

bolonese%202.jpg

I use steak instead of store bought minced beef because I never trust them to put in only what they say and I can can control the amount and type of fat that gets mixed in.
The last time I used this recipe with bought minced meat it tasted crap...

De-seed the tomatoes, I find the seeds give a bitter taste.

bolonese%203.jpg


Get your food blitzing device

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and blitz the veg and the beef.

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Get the garlic

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and make a pur?e by finely chopping it then dragging your knife over it mixed with some salt as an abrasive.
this makes sure no-one gets a big garlicy chunk.

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Fry the Bacon

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Then blitz it in together with with half the tomatoes.

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Put the chillies in with the rest of the tomatoes and blitz them too.

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Fry the veg on medium heat for about 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil.

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Just before the time's up, throw in the garlic and stir it around for 30 seconds.

Take out the veg. from the pan, give it a clean then crank up the heat and leave it heating up a while.
Put in the beef. flatten it down to get as much of it in contact with the heat, don't stir it.

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When the pink's nearly all gone you can stir it about and put in the wine, let this simmer about a minute.

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Throw in the veg. mix
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Throw in the tomato/bacon/chilli

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Add the oregano, thyme, bay leaves and pepper

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Stir it all about...

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Cover and leave to boil on a medium to high heat for at least half an hour

bolonese%2021.jpg


Here is where the Bovril comes in...

Now everything is at least cooked you can adjust the seasoning, check salt & pepper, herbs, and the "beefiness".
Depending on the quality of the meat you use, sometimes it doesn't taste as beefy as it should, so add a teaspoon or 2 of Bovril to get the flavour you want.

Leave simmering on low heat for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Try not to keep tasting it or there won't be any left after the 2 hours is up.

bolonese%2023.jpg


Unfortunately I can't take any photos of this as a finished plate as it's all being frozen so my GF can have packed lunches while I'm away travelling.

Any thoughts or ideas to improve the recipe ?

Give it a go... :D
 

MWF

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Sounds really good. I prefer to use tinned Italian tomatoes (two large cans) plus a big spoon of sun-dried tomato paste and I always add a level teaspoon of sugar per can to avoid any bitterness.

And I lob the herbs in freshly chopped just before serving as they make for a more vibrant taste, ditto the garlic which I put through a garlic press as it stops that stale garlicky smell oozing from your pores the next day.

And finally, thyme and oregano I concur with, where the hell is your basil?
 

Heathrow

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That looks great, I might try your recipe.

Oh and the wine is very nice too, as I have tried that already. Sold here at Tesco for about ?6.50 I think and there is a more expensive one also for about ?9.

:)
 
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NecroJoe

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In my expereicnce, thyme, oregano and bayleaves should go in as it cooks. Cilantro, parsley and basil should go in (or on) last.

Ditto, though, on the canned tomatoes and the paste: especially if you can brown the paste a bit in the pan/skillet. It adds a meatiness/sweetness similar to browning beef!
 

MWF

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Cilantro? That's coriander isn't it? I tend to associate that with oriental and Mexican dishes. Never heard of that in a bolognese but I might give that a go.
 

GTV V6

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Sounds really good. I prefer to use tinned Italian tomatoes (two large cans) plus a big spoon of sun-dried tomato paste and I always add a level teaspoon of sugar per can to avoid any bitterness.

And I lob the herbs in freshly chopped just before serving as they make for a more vibrant taste, ditto the garlic which I put through a garlic press as it stops that stale garlicky smell oozing from your pores the next day.

And finally, thyme and oregano I concur with, where the hell is your basil?

Lot's of recipes use tinned tomato, I figure, if I can find the real thing why bother...

As far as the herbs go, dried stuff is easy to find where I live (I can't think of anywhere that has fresh oregano or thyme) and I'm not a big fan of Basil.

I put the herbs in at the beginning to it all has a chance to meld (good word meld) together.

Saying that if I ever do find any fresh herbs, I'll give your version a go... sounds interesting :)


That looks great, I might try your recipe.

Oh and the wine is very nice too, as I have tried that already. Sold here at Tesco for about ?6.50 I think and there is a more expensive one also for about ?9.

:)

You mean that very same wine :blink:

I got that at the cheapo pakistani food emporiuim near where I live for ?2.80, about ?2.30, saying that... it was (past tense) quite nice :)
 
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NecroJoe

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Cilantro? That's coriander isn't it? I tend to associate that with oriental and Mexican dishes. Never heard of that in a bolognese but I might give that a go.

No, I just meant in the general "cooking" sense. Not for this recipe!! :p

Also, sometimes the cannoed tomatoes can be better than fresh. In the "off" season when the tomatoes have to be imported from all over and they just aren't in peak season, sometimes canned is the way to go.


Would you rather have fresh pizza that started off as a passable pizza, or the leftovers from the best pizza? To most, it doesn't matter. Having canned tomatoes around the house, though, can save a trip to the grocery store just for a tomato. :)
 
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MWF

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Joe, I make pizza from scratch and my tomato sauce recipe is lurking in this section somewhere - works as a pizza sauce as well as for pasta. All the FGers who've reported back say it's really good. Bear in mind given our latitude and climate we can't grow the best ones fresh domestically and they are expensive in comparison to the imported canned variety.

I'm just about to serve dinner but if you're interested I'll see if I can find it. Chances are it's in the Pizza Thread somewhere.
 

ahpadt

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I wouldn't bother using fresh tomatoes. Tinned ones taste better unless you're in the absolute best season for fresh ones.

The only dry spices I use is salt and pepper. Fresh thyme if I have any in the fridge. All it needs.
 

NecroJoe

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America's test kitchen aka Cook's Illustrated did a taste test, and found they generally preffered american brands to the italian brands in blind tests. Apparently, they held up better in cooking since the american ones with thicker "meat" are bred to hold up to mechanical harvesting and are slightly sweeter. But again, this was to cater to American cooks' taste. And no, that doesn't mean "tastes more like velveeta and miracle whip"
 
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