Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Ultimate Bolognaise

This past week, I was twice asked about making fresh sauces for pasta, as apparently, there are a number of folks here who would dearly make a fresh pasta sauce, but do not know how.

Inevitably, a lot of people will fall back on bottled sauces to make their pasta, and I always say this is the worst way to eat pasta.

Bottled sauces contain preservatives to keep the ingredients alive, and trust me, they are never fresh.

And the best pasta sauce comes from having fresh ingredients. For that reason, and despite I have written about previous bolognaise sauces, I keep trying to refine until it gets better all the time.

Today, I want to share with you what I call the ultimate bolognaise sauce. You can pour this over pasta, or serve it with toast or wraps, it's so good any starch will work. It probably is good on its own.

To begin, take 4 plump tomatoes and quarter each of them. Roast them in an oven at 160 deg for an hour, and season them generously with salt an olive oil. Once they are fully roasted, remove them from the oven.

In a saucepan, place the tomatoes and add in 500ml of beef stock and mix well under low heat for about 20 minutes. Add in some chopped basil and season lightly with some pepper. Set aside.

Next, dice 4 strips of streaky bacon and put them in a cold pan and heat it up on slow fire until the fat is fully rendered.

Then add one fully chopped onion and a tablespoon of butter and sweat the onions until they are fully  caramelized. Next, add 3 stalks of celery that has been nicely chopped and caramelized them as well. Add in 4 to 5 cloves of chopped garlic as well.

Take about 3 or 4 portabello mushrooms and finely slice them and add to the mixture. Once all the vegetables have been properly cooked and the flavors wonderfully extracted, add in about a full cup of red wine and let the wine reduce within the vegetables.

Next add about 250gm of minced beef into the mixture and stir thoroughly to break the meat. Next add in the fresh tomato sauce that has been made previously and stir well.

Let the mixture cook slowly over low heat for at least 30 min. Next add the dairy products. First add in quarter cup of milk, then followed by parmesan cheese.

How much cheese is really up to you, as you can also add in the cheese later when you serve. But add enough to flavor the sauce.

Cook for another 10 minutes and taste. It should be finely balanced. Not too sour and just enough sweetness to balance. And there should be a really tasty meaty flavor.

Once you are ready, just serve with fresh pasta or bread.


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