Not only have I been a poor blogger recently, I also fell off the cookbook challenge several months back. The other day when I was reading this post on Dinner: A Love Story, I knew I needed to a). try the recipe and b). get back on the challenge. And, today, a cold rainy day was a perfect day to simmer sauce for five hours.
I have a later edition of the cookbook and have enjoyed everything I’ve tried, but this is the first time I have tried the Bolognese sauce. It was interesting to see that the recipe varied quite a bit from the one in the earlier edition that was described in the post, including the note to simmer 5 hours.
The house smelled divine as it cooked. One completely unscientific way I use to judge how good something smells is the reaction of my dogs, especially if it is a meat based item. Today, after it had been cooking about an hour, the girls took up guard in the kitchen. Below are pictures that I snapped. I took Pippi (the yellow lab) photo first, and as a not-quite two-year old, as soon as the flash went off, she came over to me to check it out.
Charley, the 14-year-old dachshund, then walked over and took her place. I did not even have time to stand up before Charley took her position. To me, that means the house smelled really good.
The sauce was wonderful and really meaty. The flavors were very pure and reminded me of Italy. This would be a great sauce to use for a group of meat eaters or picky eaters. Believe it or not, I have some family members who hate garlic, this is a great sauce for them. I think it would unbelievable in a lasagna.
Here is the recipe I used:
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped carrot
3/4 pound ground lean beef
salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk (I used 2 percent)
whole nutmeg, grated to about 1/8 of teaspoon
1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped, with their juice (I ended up using about 2 cups)
In a large heavy pot, the heavier the better, add the onion with the oil and butter and saute briefly over medium heat until translucent. Add the celery and carrot and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the ground beef, crumbling it. Add salt and pepper, stir, and cook only until the meat has lost its red color.
Turn the heat down to medium, add the milk , and cook until the milk has evaporated, then add the nutmeg. Stir frequently.
Add the wine, turn the heat up, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated.
When the milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When the tomatoes have started to bubble, turn the heat down until the sauce cooks at very, very low simmer.
Cook, uncovered, for a minimum of 3 1/2 hours according to my edition, or 5 I guess, according to an earlier edition, stirring occasionally.