Bolognese sauce for "Spaghetti Bolognese"
Mirepoix (a very classic basic mixture to casserole dishes in both the French and Italian cuisine. The name, however, sofrito in Italian.)
- 100 g (3.5 oz) carrot, chopped into small cubes
- 100 g (3.5 oz) onion, chopped into small cubes
- 100 g (3.5 oz) celery, chopped into small cubes
- 500 g (1 lbs) ground beef
- 500 g (1 lbs) minced pork
- 1 can (400 g (14 oz)) peeled tomatoes
- 1 can (140 g (5 oz)) tomato paste
- 2½ dl (1 cup) red wine
- 2½ dl (1 cup) milk
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 cloves garlic (optional. Italians themselves do not agree from one city to the next whether it is right or not.)
- ½-1 dl olive oil
Brown the mirepoix mix until the onions are translucent and slightly golden.
Brown then the meat along with the mirepoix.
It is important to brown it well! It is not enough to just heat it up until it becomes gray. If it is not browned enough, the color of the sauce is will be to light. But what's even worse is that it will also have a horrid taste. Not just boring, but horrid.
Pour all the ingredients into the pan.
Bring to a simmer without a lid, on low heat, until it is cooked down to a thick sauce. It should be cooked down so far that it becomes "meat with dressing on" instead of "sauce with meat in."
It should simmer for a looong time. It is the second most important thing about the recipe. Almost all the liquid should be simmered away.
I usually let it simmer for at least 2 hours. 3 hours is better yet. More if you have the patience. Often I need to add a glass of water or two if it is reducing too fast.
The list of ingredients may seem a bit overwhelming. But it is not so bad. To give a little birds eye view I have divided it up into "functional groups".
Brown it. The browning of the mirepoix and the meat is the most important part of what gives the dish the right flavor, and it is also the part of the recipe that is the most troublesome. But take your time to do it. It's worth it.
In many recipes it says that you have to pour in the wine, and reduce it in before you put any other liquid in. This makes no sense. Evaporation is evaporation. Just let it all simmer down together.
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