Spaghetti Bolognaise

Posted By Kerri

I don’t have a definitive recipe for this, the ingredients change each time I make it depending on what’s available. It’s a very forgiving dish though and very difficult to get wrong.

I start by browning off some pancetta or lardons until the fat has rendered. Remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen paper.

Next, sautee some onion. I do this very slowly on a low heat so they don’t brown and until they are very well cooked as I don’t like large pieces of onions. When they’re about 3/4 of the way cooked, add one or two stalks of finely chopped celery and continue cooking. A minute or so before that’s cooked, add some garlic. I usually use two cloves but have used three today as it seemed silly to put one clove back in the vegetable box. Remove this from the pan and add to the bacon.

Now add the minced beef. Lots of people say you should throw it into the pan and not move it around until a brown crust has formed, I’ve tried this and haven’t noticed any discernible difference so I start to break down the meat with two wooden spoons. As with the onion, I don’t like large chunks of meat. When this is cooked through, return the bacon and onions to the pan.

At this point, I start to add the dry ingredients. If I have fresh herbs then I’ll use those but today I didn’t so I used some dried oregano and thyme and a bay leaf. Be generous. A generous grating of nutmeg next. And season well at this point too.

Next I start to add the liquid beginning with a liberal squirt of tomato puree, some beef stock, some red wine and a generous glug of Worcester sauce. I’ve recently started using milk and I think it makes a big difference to the texture of the meat, just as long as you’re prepared to cook the sauce for a long time, on a slow heat. I’d say a couple of hours. Finally, add a tin of tomatoes.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for those couple of hours. Make sure you keep checking so that it doesn’t stick on the bottom. If it’s looking a little dry then top up with some boiling water. Taste as you go along too, if it’s lacking in flavour then try adding a little more beef stock, some more Worcester sauce or even some Marmite.

Nov 19th, 2008

9 Comments to 'Spaghetti Bolognaise'

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  1. Rob said,

    Looks delicious, another person who adds a bit of Lea & Perrins ;).

    What minced beef do you use – lean or ‘normal’? And do you drain off the fat that has come from the cooking of the mince – I prefer to do this as sometimes it leads to the dish being a bit too greasy but am interested to see how others do it!

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks Rob. I think the Lea & Perrins is essential but I have used mushroom ketchup before which is similar.

    I use lean minced beef normally, mostly because it’s a finer texture which I prefer. I normally get rid of the excess fat by blotting the minced beef between kitchen roll but I forgot this time.

  3. Lizzie said,

    I usually add a star anise while it’s simmering, it adds a different dimension but you have to be able to fish it out as it’s quite unpleasant biting into it!

  4. Mrs Ergül said,

    Sadly, I haven’t try cooking bolognaise. But this is surely on my to-do list 🙂

  5. Baby Bro said,

    Dosn’t look as red as what mums does,but then nothing is like what your mum does, does it? Glad you add marmite too, the wonderous one thinks im strange when i add that and L&P, Strange being!

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