Bolognese

This is a repost of an older blog entry that I feel did not get as fair of a shake as it deserved due to the poor quality of my photos. While not the most visually attractive of sauces, this hearty sauce satisfies through its warm, rich, and comfortingly familiar flavors.  I make this sauce several times a year, and since I initially blogged it, I keep returning to that same old blog post, and lamenting on how something so tasty can resemble something coughed up by a cat.  Yeah, not pleasant.  When I made bolognese on this latest occasion, I made sure to get some new photographs in an attempt to rebrand this recipe.  I also changed the recipe slightly.  I noticed that the previous recipe called for only 2 cups of wine.  Moment of truth.  I somehow always end up adding the entire bottle.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 lb. ground Beef (substitute with ground turkey and a splash of worcestershire sauce for a low fat variation, or use lintels for a vegetarian version)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 750 mL Red Wine
  • 1 cup Beef Broth (vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh Oregano
  • a few sprigs of fresh Thyme

Directions:

  1. In a food processor puree: onions, garlic, carrots, and celery.
  2. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a stew pot or dutch oven.
  3. Caramelize the pureed vegetables in the olive oil.
  4. Season slightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Push vegetables over to the side, and caramelize the tomato paste along the bottom of the pot – the browner the better.  Take your time to develop flavor.
  6. Gradually, draw the vegetables into the tomato paste until fully combined.
  7. Add the meat into the vegetables, and continue to brown meat.
  8. Season the meat.
  9. Add the red wine and broth.
  10. Tie the stemmed herbs together to facilitate their removal later on.
  11. Add the herbs.
  12. Bring the sauce to a boil and allow it to cook down slightly.
  13. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook the sauce on a low heat for about two hours.  Check the sauce occasionally to make sure that it does not dry out adding water as necessary.  You can also cook the sauce in the oven at about 300 degrees.

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