Saturday, August 20, 2016
Italian Night - Best Bolognese
B.'s Best Bolognese
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons salted butter
1-1/2 cup carrots, cut into small pieces with food processor
1 stalk celery cut into pieces
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons fresh thyme eaves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
several grinds of fresh cracked pepper
dash or two of salt
1/4 teaspoon mild hot sauce: I use
1 can (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cans (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
1 cup whole Milk (NOT cream)
Heat oil and butter until butter is melted.. Add carrots, celery onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove and set aside.
Set heat to high and add the ground meat a quarter at a time, stirring and breaking up lumps with a spoon between each addition. This allows it's liquid to evaporate which is key if you want nicely browned, not boiled meat. For the best flavor you want your meat to caramelize, with a few crispy bits (for me this was about 8 minutes) Watch carefully so it does not burn. When you see the meat start to crisp up and caramelize, lower the heat to medium and cook an additional 7-8 minutes. It's OK if there's still a tiny bit of pink and this will simmer a long time. Drain off any excessive liquid but do not remove meat and clean up the pan, you want a few teaspoons of juice and the cooked-on bits to deglaze the pan with the wine.
Add dry white wine, and using a wooden spoon scrape up all the brown bits stuck to the pan, pushing the meat around to incorporate it. When you are done (about two minutes) the wine wine will evaporate (you want flavor, not liquid).
Add the sauted veggies and remaining ingredients and bring to the barest of boils, then lower the heat to the lowest setting and let it simmer slowly, half covered for 3-4 hours. Add an additional half cup milk, beef broth or water, it it starts to dry out too much. The final sauce, should be thick, more meat than tomatoes.
Serve with grated cheese and a nice glass of wine.