Last night I decided to make this delicious recipe that I had found (surprise surprise) on Posie Get's Cozy. Now, it's definitely not cold or blustery around these parts but it looked good and I've always wanted to try a bolognese sauce. Sadly, all the recipes I have ever read were really complicated, took hours and hours of cooking time, or called for weird ingredients that I never have on hand. But, I was quite delighted to see that I had all of the ingredients (well, enough to fudge it) and it only took 1 1/2 hours of cooking time. This I could do! So I printed of the recipe (you can get the original here) and got started.
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 carrot, finely, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced ( I used 5 because this is Italian food after all!)
- 1 pound veal, ground (I used 2 lbs of ground beef because, come on, who eats veal anyways???)
- 1 pound pork, ground
- 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground ( I used 1/2 package of bacon, sliced into little strips)
- 1/2 tube tomato paste ( I used half a can since I didn't have a tube and you can never have too much)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup dry white wine ( I used beer, don't do this! Continue reading after recipe)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating (none was to be found in our fridge, we used smoked gouda instead)
In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.
When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tosses so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu.
Mike couldn't quite figure out what I was cooking when he arrived at home. I explained my problem of the lack of wine and the substituting of the beer. He looked at me somewhat askance and said, "you really put an entire cup of beer in the sauce when it called for white wine???" Of course my answer was "yes." At that we decided to laugh about it and eat anyways.
It turned out ok, but the flavor was a little too dark and earthy for me and Olivia to truly enjoy it. Today, we had it as leftovers and I added about 1/2 c. of chicken broth to loosen it up as it was short on saucy-ness and long on meaty chunks. It helped a whole lot and we enjoyed it much more with it's beer flavor tempered quite a bit. I can't say I'm in a great hurry to try this recipe again but it will be going in my recipe binder and I'll make sure to follow the ingredients list a bit more closely next time. And please don't let my mistakes deter you from trying it, it really is delicious. We ate ours piled high on quinoa and corn pasta and topped with a generous helping of shredded smoked gouda.
But for heavens sake make the little extra effort and buy a bottle of white and then drink the rest with dinner. :)