Bolognese

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  Have you noticed that I have been cooking a lot more? Gold star! This is why. Very exciting to see where 2011 will take us! Last night we were craving something hearty so I decided to make Jamie Oliver's bolognese from my favorite cookbook.. Even if I don't have all of the ingredients I will still use this recipe as a base for my spaghetti sauce:
This cookbook has everything from how to cook an egg to traditional roast dinners to pot pies and gravy! I highly recommend this book especially if you are a novice cook.
Ingredients
• 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, preferably free-range or organic
• 2 medium onions
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• olive oil
• 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
• 500g good-quality minced beef, pork, or (even better!) a mixture of the two
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a small bunch of fresh basil
• 100g Parmesan cheese
• 400-500g dried spaghetti or penne

Directions:
• Finely slice the bacon
• Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about technique,
just chop away until fine
• Place a large pan on a medium to high heat
• Add 2 lugs of olive oil, your sliced bacon and the oregano and cook and stir until the bacon is lightly golden
• Add the veg to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured
• Stir in the minced meat and the tinned tomatoes
Do you know where your beef comes from? About once a year or every two years James and I have been buying a 1/4 of beef from my boss who is a rancher. The meat is then packaged at Balzac meats and you can choose how many steaks you would like in a package, how big the roasts will be and how much ground beef you will get. You can also get stewing meats, jerky, etc. This beef has a completely different color, smells different when cooking and is so lean you never need to drain it. The steaks you can cut with a fork. Let me know if you need a hook up! I will be placing an order in February!
The "Mix N' Chop" is the BEST for breaking up frozen or fresh hamburger meat.. It is way quicker than using a wooden spoon and I also use it for scrambled eggs, frozen juice, etc. Love it!
• Fill one of the empty tins with water and add to the pan
• Stir in a good pinch of salt and
pepper
• Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later
• Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan
• Bring to the boil
• Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on and slightly askew for 1 hour, stirring every now and again
• Take the lid off and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
• Keep an eye on the sauce as it cooks, and if you think it’s starting to dry out, add a splash of water  
• Remove the Bolognese sauce from the heat
• Finely grate the Parmesan and stir half into the sauce
• Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones for sprinkling over before serving
• Mix up, have a taste, and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed – congratulations! You now have a beautiful Bolognese sauce
• At this stage you can allow it to cool, bag it up and freeze it, or keep it warm while you cook your pasta
Here's Mr. Fraggle last night for a little bit of "awww"... He's getting bigger already NoOoO

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