Monday, 4 February 2013

Bolognese Sauce

I was virtuous on Sunday afternoon and cooked a Bolognese sauce for freezing and future consumption. I now have 12 little packages of sauce solidifying in the freezer and a satisfying feeling.


  • 2 large or 3 medium onions
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 300g mushrooms (any type)
  • 3 - 4 anchovies in oil
  • 500g beef mince
  • 500g pork mince
  • 750ml passata
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock, vegetable stock powder or cube
  • olive oil

  • Chop onions roughly
  • Squish garlic in garlic squisher
  • Grate zucchini, carrot and mushrooms (a food processor is helpful here)
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan or stovetop-safe casserole dish
  • Brown meat in batches, remove to a separate plate or bowl
  • Add a little more oil to pan and lower heat
  • Cook onion over medium heat until translucent
  • Add garlic and cook approx 1 minute
  • Add spices and cook for 10 - 20 seconds
  • Add anchovies and cook for approx 1 minute, breaking down with your spoon / spatula thingy
  • Deglaze pan with a bit of passata if necessary
  • Add grated vegetables to pan and cook down for a couple of minutes
  • Add browned meat to pan and mix in
  • Add vegetable stock gloop, powder or crumbled cube (do not dilute in water, this adds too much liquid)
  • Add passata to pan and stir in, bring to boil
  • Add pepper as required
  • Cook, uncovered, for 1 - 2 hours over slow heat, just bubbling
  • Makes approx 2.4 kg, approx 12 servings

  • This always tastes better the next day.
  • The anchovies and the vegetable stock help add the middle notes to this sauce, which I found so hard to do when I first started cooking it. Red wine can also help with this, should you have any around, but it does add a lot of liquid. I like a dryish sauce, particularly for freezing as it tends to weep and separate when you defrost it, otherwise.
  • Grating the vegetables not only deepens the flavour, it hides them from those children (and grown-ups) who have an aversion to visible vegetable matter, and improves the texture after defrosting.

This weekend's version had *lots* of swiss brown mushrooms, because I happened to have a lot around. It's resulted in a lovely dark colour and deep flavour.

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