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Bolognese Sauce

Discussion in 'Drink, Smoke, and Fine Dining' started by C50, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. C50

    C50 Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2016
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    Opinionated f-chat chefs, I seek your guidance for bolognese sauce.
    I have no Nonna to consult.
    The internet provides the usual suspects, which I've cooked to good effect in the past.
    I'm looking for any insight or tips you suggest I utilize for a big ol' pot I'm planning to cook this weekend.

    The basics seem uncontested:
    oil
    onion/carrot/celery
    meats (fav combos?)
    chicken stock
    milk
    tomato paste
    home made pasta (natch)

    dealers choices appear to include:
    butter
    cream
    wine
    cheese
    tomato
    nutmeg

    Does your Nonna have any tips?

    Grazie
     
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  3. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    #2 tomc, Nov 20, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
    It's always been my impression that bolognese is more of a northern Italian dish and my grandmother was Sicilian. So take this with a grain of salt.

    If I am remembering correctly, it has been 30+ years, my grandmother used most of your basics and almost none of the options. I'd also bet dollars to donuts that she didn't use chicken stock and used water and wine. As far as meats, I remember thinly sliced beef, veal (I think), and hot Italian sausage.

    There was a great recipe for a meat sauce in the Dinner thread some years back that I think used short rib, but I can't find it.

    Post pics!

    T

    Found it! Post # 845 in the What's for Dinner thread. Ok, back to sleep for a couple more hours.
     
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  4. sasso1977

    sasso1977 Formula Junior
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    Sautée some bacon or pancetta with your onions and garlic. Then incorporate your protein. And sauce.


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  5. C50

    C50 Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2016
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    that's absolutely happening. got a pound of pancetta
    any opinions on tomato, cream, spices beyond bay leaf, salt and pepper?

    thanks for that
    found the post as well as the bonus beef rangdang recipe right after. that'll be for another weekend.
     
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  6. sasso1977

    sasso1977 Formula Junior
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    None to add . A little cream, salt and pepper sounds about right


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  8. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    #6 arizonaitalian, Nov 22, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    What a coincidence. I've never made one, but today happens to be my first attempt at a sauce that is broadly in the meat sauce genre (clearly not a traditional bolognese). I'm using @dstacy recipe from a post in the silver section:
    ___________________

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/best-large-crock-pot.628777/

    "If you make this not only will you love it but you’ll also make it the rest of your life."

    David Sunday’s Red Sauce - (a.k.a. the meal that convinced Helen to marry him)

    1.25lb. ground round beef & 1.25lb mild Italian sausage
    2 - l4oz. cans diced tomatoes
    5 - l5oz. cans tomato sauce
    1 cup Sangiovese or other good Italian red wine
    1 green bell pepper & 1/2 of a red bell pepper
    1 package (8oz.) sliced button mushrooms
    1 package (6oz.) portabella mushrooms
    1/2 yellow onion
    2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
    3 tablespoons brown sugar
    3 bay leaves & a little salt & pepper
    2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, etc.)

    Get the largest crock-pot you can find.

    Remove the sausage from the casing. Brown it and the ground round. Drain off the liquid. Chop the peppers, onion and mushrooms small Put everything into the crock-pot and cook on low overnight. Stir it a couple of times. Serve over your favorite pasta. Enjoy! (Call me so I can have some with you)
    _____________

    Here are my in-process pics (I just got it into the Crock pots, will let it go for 10 hours...). Its not a strictly traditional sauce, what with the heavy portion of veggies and even mushrooms. I also riff'd on the recipe a small bit by adding a bit of cinnamon and chili powder to deepen the sauce, and I added more dried herbs and spices to the meat while cooking it. Oh, and I upped the meat to 2lb of beef and 2lb of sausage (1lb hot and 1lb one sweet )...I'll let you know how it turns out after dinner tonight...

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  9. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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  10. C50

    C50 Formula 3

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    #8 C50, Nov 23, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
    I appreciate everyone’s tips.
    Here’s what I cooked up, an amalgam of different recipes (they’re all variations on a theme):


    Bolognese Sauce
    (12 generous servings)

    2 large onion, minced (2:1:1 onion:carrot:celery)
    4 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    6 ribs celery, finely chopped
    2 lb ground beef
    2 lb ground pork
    1 lamb chop, coarsely chopped
    Olive oil
    1 lb pancetta
    1 small tin tomato paste
    2 cup dry white wine
    1 large can tomato, hand-crushed
    32 oz chicken stock
    32 oz veggie stock
    2 cup whole milk
    3 Bay leaves
    Parmesan cheese rinds (optional)
    1/2 a Nutmeg, grated
    salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup heavy cream, 4 T butter
    1. Brown meats
    2. Brown pancetta, add veggies and cook
    3. Add tomato paste and browned meats
    4. Add milk, simmer to evaporate (1h)
    5. Nutmeg
    6. Add wine, simmer to evaporate (1h)
    7. Add stock and 1 can crushed tomato, slow simmer (4-6h)
      (We had a power outage here which made us put the pot in the fridge and resume the next day. Ended up being great because it could just lazy simmer for hours. I will stage it like that over two days next time on purpose.)
    8. Add water as needed to keep from drying out
    9. Add heavy cream/butter, salt to taste
    10. Make pasta
    11. Cook pasta 45 seconds
    12. In skillet, add sauce, pasta and splash of pasta water, final cooking
    13. Parmesan cheese and serve at sunset
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      I’ll make this again. it was transformative and worth the time.
     
  11. C50

    C50 Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2016
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    For pasta, here’s my go-to recipe. This makes ~1.5 servings so easy to scale

    Pasta

    1 egg beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup flour (mix AP and tipo 00)
    2 tablespoon water
    1 tablespoon oil

    Combine flour and salt
    Mix in egg
    Add liquid
    Knead 5 min
    Rest 15 min
    Roll, cut, cook ~1 minute (45 seconds if final cooking in skillet with sauce)

    for bolognese, I rolled it to #6 on the kitchen aide attachment and then hand-cut pappardelle. The thinner rolling really made it a light noodle.
     
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  13. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    Looks outstanding!

    I would be interested in seeing it when it was essentially only meat + 64 ounces of stock and ?? ounces of crushed tomatoes...

    Got a pic of that?

    Also, how many ounces of crushed tomatoes were in the large can you used?
     
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  14. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Looks great. Was it nutmeg-y? I would have guessed that 1/2 a nutmeg seed would be pretty noticeable, although this looks like a pretty big batch of grub. Thanks for posting this...T
     
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  15. C50

    C50 Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2016
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    I used a 28oz tin of whole peeled tomatoes (the bigger sized can on the shelf).
    My impression is that tomato paste is standard but since bolognese isn’t a traditional red sauce, many recipes don’t use any tomatoes. Since I like them, I added.
    The recipe I posted is definitely open to mods. Skip the lamb, add veal, change the stocks, substitute unsmoked/flavored bacon for pancetta, go nuts w garlic. It’s super flexible and worth the simmer. Definitely a recipe that is greater than the sum of its parts.
    I did forget to mention: discard the fat after browning meats and skim the fat when simmering. I kept the pancetta fat and cooked the mirepoix in that.

    mine looked like this when it was getting close. You can see from the fat ring how much it cooked down.
    Stoked for leftovers now...
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  16. C50

    C50 Formula 3

    Aug 19, 2016
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    Thanks
    It was an appropriate amount. I got lucky, not too nutmeg-y but I could detect the presence. The flavors definitely evolve during the long simmer so the initial scent after grating mellows significantly.
     
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  17. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    That looks great!
     
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  18. lopena

    lopena Formula Junior
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    Nov 3, 2003
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    My Italian wife of 40 years is famous for her Bolognese Sauce.

    As a public service to the FChat community I’ll post the recipe here:

    THERESA’S BOLOGNESE SAUCE
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    The most important thing in making this sauce is to chop the onions, carrots and celery in the smallest dice that you can cut. The vegetables have to be the same size so they dissolve in the sauce when the sauce is done. You don’t want big chunks of vegetables. Also, don’t use a food processor; it doesn’t chop the pieces evenly.


    To save time, you can chop the onions, carrots and celery the day before. Store them separately in bowls or sealable plastic bags.


    4 tablespoons olive oil

    4 tablespoons butter

    2 small onions, chopped fine (approximately 1 cup)

    2 carrots, chopped fine (approximately 1 cup)

    2 celery ribs, chopped fine (approximately 1 cup)

    1 lb ground chop meat

    1 lb ground pork

    2 cups whole milk

    2 cups dry white wine

    3 28 ounce to 32 ounce cans crushed or pureed tomatoes

    Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

    Salt and pepper


    Special Equipment: Large stock pot


    1. In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides.

    2. Sauté onion, carrot and celery, stirring for about 5 minutes.

    3. Add beef and pork stirring to combine meat and vegetables thoroughly. Cook, stirring (breaking up large chunks of meat) until meat is no longer pink. Do not brown the meat.

    4. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

    5. Add milk and nutmeg and cook on simmer, stirring until most of the milk is evaporated, about 20-25 minutes*. DO NOT RUSH THIS STEP!

    6. Add white wine and cook on simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is evaporated, about 20-25 minutes*. DO NOT RUSH THIS STEP!

    7. Add tomatoes to meat mixture and stir until well blended.

    8. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a bare simmer.

    9. Cook uncovered until the sauce is thickened and season with salt and pepper

    * At no time should the liquid be boiling. The liquid must evaporate and be absorbed on low heat.

    Serve with Rigatoni or your favorite pasta.

    Enjoy!
    Alan
    N.J.
     
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  19. Mondog1

    Mondog1 F1 Rookie
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    For the ground meat portion what fat % are you using or doesn’t it matter? I like ground meat around 90-94% fat free
     
  20. lopena

    lopena Formula Junior
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    Nov 3, 2003
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    For the ground beef use 80/20, (and, yes, it does matter).

    The ground pork is any that you can find...they typically don’t specify fat content.

    Alan
    N.J.
     
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