Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bolognese Sauce from O Oprah Winfrey magazine

Karl, here is the recipe I promised you!  With pictures even :)

I am not much of a cookbook person, or a recipe person, or even a spaghetti and meat sauce person.  But when I read this article and the accompanying recipe for Bolognese sauce - I had to try it.  Family and friends are glad I did!
The smaller you cut up the celery, onion and carrots, the better.  
I am also not much of a kitchen gadget person, but the Vidalia Chop Wizard
is perfect for cutting  down the onions and carrots.  It DOES NOT work well
however, on stringy celery!

I use the smaller gridded cutting blade to cut both.
This makes them about a quarter inch in size.
Cutting them this size ensures tenderness by the
time the Bolognese is done cooking.
I have 'rendered' the Pancetta (only Italians could make bacon look pretty)!  The celery, carrots and onion are 'softening'.
Because this recipe takes a bit of time to cook, I usually make a double batch.  It is well worth it if someone wants seconds, if you want to freeze some, have a larger family, or want leftovers!

Bolognese Sauce
'O' Oprah  Magazine


1 medium Onion                                                               pinch of Allspice
1 large or 2 small Carrots                                                 1 cup whole Milk
       2-3 stalks of Celery                                                         1 cup dry white Wine
1 ounce Pancetta, very finely chopped                      1(15 ounce) can diced Tomatoes and juice
1 pound Ground Beef (not lean)                                                   1 pound Pasta
1 tsp. Salt, 1/8 tsp. freshly ground Pepper                Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, for grating

 1. finely chop onion, carrot and celery.  In a heavy bottomed sauce pan or Dutch oven,  over low heat, cook pancetta until all fat is rendered, and pancetta is just beginning to brown.  Add chopped vegetables, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and soft.
2.  add ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, 1/4 tsp. (to start), plus pepper and allspice.
MY comment: the AROMA, when the allspice is mixed in with the ground beef is Amazing!!Cook until meat is brown.

3.  Add milk.  When it begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally until milk has mostly boiled away, about 30 minutes.  Add white wine and cook as with milk, until it has mostly boiled away.  Add tomatoes and juice; bring to a simmer.  Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and allow sauce to cook very gently at barest simmer, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
MY comment:   at this point, I sometimes transfer the sauce to my large Crock Pot - on low, and cook all day.

4. Just before sauce is done, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it generously, and boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain, mix with a third of the sauce, then serve remaining sauce on top with lots of the grated cheese.
The rest of MY comments:
As I said earlier - I usually make a double batch.  This of course changes the cooking time - especially at step 3. with regards to the milk, and then wine, cooking off.

Also as to ingredients:
I am the kind of cook that uses what I have in the house - or what I want to use.  If you want to make this low calorie - use lean beef and non fat milk.  I have made this with venison (very lean), and also have used all of the combos of 'fat' versus 'non fat' ingredients.  I always err on the 'more' side when it comes to the veggies - especially the carrots and celery.  The wine  - as long as it is 'dry', can be inexpensive.

Although this recipe takes time - remember that the final hours can be done in a Crock Pot.  This is absolutely DELICIOUS.  You won't be disappointed!


If you have any comments of your own - leave them below!

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