a better bolognese

The guys know when it’s time to make a batch of Bolognese. This Bolognese doesn’t include milk as in some recipes. Roasting some of the ingredients gives a deeper flavor to the sauce.

A Dutch oven is a perfect pot for this sauce as it takes layers of flavor to build. This pot can hold up to the heat.  This isn’t a complicated sauce. There’s an order, to add ingredients, to get the most out of them.

Start with chopped mushrooms. Adding the mushrooms first draws out the moisture. Place the mushrooms in a dry pot with no butter or oil.

When they are done, add a finely chopped large onion. Working with a large onion can be tricky. Cut off the root end of the onion. Use your knife and slice off one of the rounded sides of the onion to give you a stable onion to continue to chop.

Here’s a tip when you are transferring lots of chopped items from your cutting board to a pot on the stove. Use your bench scraper that you would use with dough. If you don’t have one, even if you don’t bake, it’s worth investing in one for this purpose.

Next, finely chop about 12 baby carrots. They will add a little sweetness to play off the bolder flavors in the sauce. Add a little Kosher salt to the mix. Cook until softened. Some chopped garlic goes into the pot.

Add about a pound of chopped chuck or sirloin. Sprinkle the meat with a generous helping of onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. The paprika will help brown the meat.

On the grill, you will follow the same process, for roasting 8 plum tomatoes and 2 red peppers, that we did a few posts ago.

Prepare the tomatoes and peppers with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Kosher salt. The tomato juices will be helped by the balsamic vinegar to caramelize the natural sugars.

Back to the ingredients in the Dutch oven. When the meat is browned, add a can of crushed tomatoes. Simmer on a low flame. When the grilled tomatoes and red peppers have cooled, cut into small pieces. Add to the pot. Toss in some chopped rosemary leaves.

Let the pot simmer for about 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of cooking time, you can add some chopped, fresh oregano and basil.

Stir in a large handful of Pecorino Romano in the sauce too. Serve with spaghetti or linguine.

We’re in the final stretch of blogathon 2013! Check back tomorrow.

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