Saturday, 9 January 2010

My best Bolognese

I made this for a family and friends lunch party during the holidays, and served it on fresh fettucine. I was asked for the recipe from all participants- and both husbands insisted on me giving it to their wives! (Peter just smirked.)

Well, I'm a nice girl...

about 750g minceed beef
about 350g minced pork
2 packs of 3 thick slices of lard fume, cut into lardons that aren't too thin (if you cut them too thin, it just melts, and I like the odd bit of bacon in my sauce!)
3 big carrots, peeled, diced
2-3 onions
1/2 a head of garlic (or a whole head, up to you), sliced, it melts into the sauce so you don't need to cut it too finely
1 bottle of red wine
2 litres passata/coulis de tomates
some water
pepper, no salt because of the lard, oregano, other spices, chili flakes
cooking olive oil
some full-fat milk- about 1 dl

In a big casserole dish, heat some olive oil gently, add the oniongs, garlic and carrot, season with pepper, herbs and chili, put the lid on and cook gently. When the onions are translucid and the carrot softening, pour the bottle of wine in.

At the same time, in a frying pan cook the lardons without adding any oil. Put the meat into the casserole, leaving the fat in the pan. Cook the other meats in the fat (you might need to add some oil for the last batches!). Cook the meats separately, as you will need to keep on prodding the pork to make sure that it doesn't go into lumps, and don't put too much in the pan at the same time, or it will steam and won't brown. Add as you go along to the casserole.

Pour the passata into the caserole, add a bit of cold water for the sauce to cover the meat. Stir, bring to a boil, turn down, and simmer for at least three hours. Longer is better- five hours is perfect!

Turn the heat off, leave overnight. The next morning, spoon the fat off- you'll understand why when you take the lid off! Heat it gently, for about 40 minutes to an hour, until you are ready to serve it up. Season with pepper, and, five minutes before serving, pour in the milk, stir it in.

As I said- I served it with fettucine, as I understand that the traditional way of serving involves tagliatelle, but I didn't want to be fiddling with dried pasta and fresh pasta takes hardly any time to cook! We also had a big green salad.

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