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Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sluttishly Savoury: Classic Bolognese


I admit it. This is the first proper-from-scratch Bolognese sauce I've ever made, largely based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, master of good old-fashioned home cooking. This serves 6.

You will need:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g unsmoked streaky bacon, diced (or pancetta cubes)
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 500g of onions, finely diced
  • 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
  • 500ml of passata
  • 250ml of beef stock
  • Herbs - bay leaves, fresh lemon thyme and parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese - Red Leicester and Parmesan
  • Pasta of your choice

Make it!
  • Fry the diced bacon in half of the oil. Then brown the mince in batches, removing the cooked meat to a casserole dish as you go. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and add that to the casserole.
  • Wipe out the pan with the paper towel and add the remaining oil.
  • Gently cook the onion and garlic, then add the tomatoes and passata and get it bubbling away.
  • Once the mixture has thickened, add it all to the casserole along with the stock and the fresh herbs.
  • Allow to bubble away, uncovered for 1-2 hours.
  • Serve with fresh pasta of your choice, garnish with cheese and fresh basil.
It will fill your kitchen with an amazing dense herby smell, and it makes a substantial amount! I'm going to use some of the remainder for a cottage pie with sweet potato topping, and it would be delish on baked potatoes. You can also vary the herbs, I used the what my local supermarket had on offer.

Admittedly it's a full-fat option, so do try to use lean beef. But it's oh so good. However, it does set somewhat of a precedence. After tasting this, I don't know that I'll be able to go back to tomato sauce in a jar...

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