Thursday, January 3, 2013

bolognese sauce

I've only ordered bolognese one time at one restaurant, and I'm pretty sure I got a nice case of food poisoning. Ever since I have sworn off ordering bolognese anywhere. T, on the other hand, can never have too much bolognese, it may be his favorite dish of all time. Occasionally when I'm feeling brave I'll grab a noodle or two off of his plate when he has it when we're out. Gradually I started to like it more and more, and for the new year T wanted to make some....fine. Fine. I'll make it....knowing I'm using high-quality ingredients and I will be handling the raw meat, and fully cooking it, I wouldn't get sick this time. I gave it a whirl and ohhhmygoodness my mind is changed. I love it. I love it a lot and I'll make it again. I made 12 cups-worth so we can have 2 servings of leftovers and freeze another 2 servings the sauce for another time when the craving hits again.

Ingredients (for about 12 cups of sauce, makes about 6 servings-worth):
3 tbs olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb nitrate-free bacon, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rib of celery, finely chopped
7 cloves of garlic, minced
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup red wine
28 oz crushed tomatoes with basil
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
1 cup milk
2 bay leaves
1 rind of parmesan
1 tbs sugar
salt & pepper
tagliatelle to serve

1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat, add ground beef and pork, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and brown, about 8 minutes. 

2. Once brown, transfer beef and pork to a paper towel-lined plate.

3. Add 1 tbs olive oil and chopped bacon to pot. Stir until crisped, about 6 more minutes. 

4. Transfer bacon to plate with beef and pork.

5. Discard liquid fat that may have seeped out while cooking meats. Add remaining 1 tbs olive oil to the empty pot along with carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to soften, about 4 minutes.

6. Add garlic and stir for another 2 minutes.

7. Add tomato paste and stir for another one minute.

8. Add red wine to the pot and stir until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.

9. Add browned meat, crushed & diced tomatoes, milk, bay leaves, the rind of the parmesan, sugar, a pinch of salt & pepper, and lastly halfway-fill the 14.5 oz can with water and add to pot. Stir to mix.   


10. Bring pot to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 3.5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to prevent browning on the bottom.

11. After 3.5 hours have passed, remove remnants of the rind along with the bay leaves. Spoon onto tagliatelle and mix to coat. Season with sprinkle of salt & pepper and a shaving of parmesan.

Store left-overs in an airtight container in the refrigerator or the freezer.
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