Monday, April 20, 2009

Bolognese-Style Meat Sauce

Way too many of my recent recipes have been inspired partially by the need to use up a gigantic bunch of celery. This one (actually cooked last week, but I got lazy and didn't bother typing it up till now) is based on the one in the first edition of Bittman; my changes are in italics (note too that my stove seems to heat up more slowly than his - cooking times have been amended accordingly).
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 3 oz. pancetta (alt. 1/4 cup), minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (alt. 1/2 lb. beef, 1/2 lb. veal)
  • 1 28-oz. can tomatoes, juice reserved
  • 3/4 cup juice from tomatoes (alt. white wine)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • grated Parmesan
Put olive oil in large pot. Turn heat to medium-low. After a minute, add the onion, carrot, celery and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender (about 10-15 minutes).

Add the ground meat. Cook, stirring and breaking up any clumps, till all traces of red are gone (about 5-10 minutes).

Raise the heat a little. Add the tomato juice and cook, stirring occasionally, till most of the liquid's evaporated (about 5-10 minutes).

Crush the tomatoes and add them to the pot; stir, then add the stock. Turn the heat to low and cook at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps. After an hour or so, season with salt and pepper.

Cook for at least another hour (more like 1-1/2 or 2 hours more in my case), till much of the liquid has evaporated. At this point, you can take the sauce off the heat and freeze or refrigerate for a while. If you're doing this, reheat it before going to the next step.

Add the milk and cook for another 15-30 minutes (didn't actually do this, as the sauce was rich and milky enough without - and well, more to the point, as I wanted to maximize storage time), stirring occasionally. Correct seasoning. Serve with pasta (or rice!) and grated Parmesan to taste.

1 comment:

  1. This really is the dish that keeps on giving - have had it five times already, and none of them with pasta (couscous x 2 | rice x 2 |corn sauteed with shallots in butter). Thankfully the freezer's decided to be all freezery this week.