Monday, August 3, 2009

Bolognese Sauce - First try

Ok, its been over a week, but here it is, my first foray into blogging. I put in special effort on Sunday to make something grand to make up for it! This is "Pastor Ryan's Bolognese Sauce," which came from that wonderful woman, the Pioneer Woman. I had carrots in the freezer, lots of beef and onions, so this seemed like an ideal time. I know, the carrots would have been better fresh, but money is tight, and I'm very much a waste not, want not kind of guy, at least when I can help it.

This won't be as glamorous as the pictures on PW, but at least you get to see me fumble through it all!

Start off with garlic. I think I like this recipe.

The good old knife smash technique always gets the job done.

I like to put my small ingredients into punch cups. Namely because I have a lot of them, and little reason to serve punch.

An onion! Fantastic. I had these in the fridge instead of red onions.

Slice in half, leave the root ends on to keep it together.

Slice through, keeping the slices attached, then cut through like so to get an easy diced onion.

Errrm, here's my carrot mush. Ok, I guess I shouldn't have compromised.

Mmmm, beef. I think a fattier mix would have actually worked better. This was a pretty lean mix.

Getting to the cooking, heated up the olive oil and tossed in the carrot and onion.

Prepping a little bit in advance! The red wine for the sauce... and a glass for me.
Edit: Oh right, the PF Chang's bag. Delicious meal. Anyway, that was a few days back, and I'm using the bag to throw away odds and ends during the process.

In goes the beef. I can't tell you how good this smelled. Goodness.

Italian style tomatoes! I think I'll have to try with fresh tomatoes later, if I can find some "seconds" at the farmer's market.

Tomato paste! Its pasty.

Finally, the garlic.

And then the tomatoes!

Milk.... ok Pastor Ryan, I'll trust you on this. I guess non fat wasn't the best choice... its all I had on hand though.

Action shot! Anyway, simmered this for two hours...

Before serving it on a bed of fresh pasta. I really need to get a pasta machine, but still, it wasn't bad. A great depth of flavor. I think the omitted Worcester sauce had a lot to do with it as well. I still think the recipe needs salt, though the Parmesan cheese recommended probably would have helped there. Its a work in progress!


  1. Hey! Very impressive for a first go 'round. I didn't know there were carrots in bolognese sauce. It looks fantastic!

  2. Looks great! Might I also suggest putting one celery stalk (minced/diced) along with the carrots? Then you have the classic trifecta: onions, carrots, celery. An elderly Italian lady told me that trick, and she must know what she's talking about! :-) Nothing beats bolognese from scratch!!

  3. Kati is correct - onion, celery and carrot = classic mirepoix. Come on, Brian! ;) Looks damn yummy, though.

  4. Start with the Mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery) - saute to clear

    Add the beef pork and lamb and slowly brown - add the milk and allow to this to be absorbed. It may need to be done in a few portions.

    Then add the tomatoes and the seasonings. Oregano, thyme, bay, basil. You want spaghetti sauce flavours here. Usually this is a criticism when making other sauces - this time it is big bold and meaty flavours. If you need umami chuck in some Maggi, miso, soy sauce or bouillon to kick this up a bit.

    Pasta is salted but no oil in the pot of water. Nothing should interfere with the flavour absorption of the pasta.

    Combine in the pan with the sauce - retain some pasta water and loosen up the sauce if needed.