There aren’t too many recipes I look forward to making each week. Bolognese, I have to say, is one I don’t mind taking the necessary steps to GREATNESS. Mouth watering, greatness. It is also one of my family’s most favorite recipes I cook each week. It’s definitely a labor of love because it involves steps and patience.
I first saw the recipe from Anne Burrell. This is the recipe I absolutely love. If you follow the process exactly how she says to – your bolognese will rival those served in small, quaint cafes in Italy. I do know this! We took a trip to Italy last summer and I tasted one that could be served side by side next to mine. (I have changed mine up just a bit to personal preference, so feel free to experiment with yours as well!)
First, you are going to take the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and put them in a food processor until it’s a pulp. You can add olive oil to the food processor if it makes it easier to process. Sauté the pulp mixture in olive oil with 2 Tsp of salt on med-high heat with a Tbps of olive oil for about 15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes. It will start out really liquidy (like in the pic below) but then it will start to tighten up and resemble cornbread.
When it’s getting close to being done, it’s a nutty brown color, and it will look like cornbread a little. Maybe 2 mins more. Shove it aside in the pan to make room for your meat. Scrape with your wooden spoon.
Add your meat another 2 tsp salt and LET IT COOK. Do not skimp these processes. Let those flavors develop.
Once meat is browned all the way through, add your tomato paste. Notice, I still have my veggies to the side. You can also take them completely out if you want.
Let the tomato paste cook a bit through for approx 4-5 minutes stirring once or twice (It will be thick)
Add your red wine and let this cook out for approx 5-7 minutes stirring a few times.
Once red wine has reduced, add water – but do NOT add too much water. An inch above the meat is enough. If I’m making this batch, 1 1/2 cups of water is plenty. 2 is max. If you’re making Anne Burrell’s full recipe, I think 3 cups is max.
I add the seasonings next and stir. Lower your heat to low to medium (where you have a soft simmer) Now it’s just a game of cooking out/ add water / cooking out / add water game. Set your timer for 45 minutes the first go around. Taste. Remember: it WILL concentrate the more liquid you let cook out. I do this about 3 times total throughout the cooking. The whole thing takes me about 2 1/2 hours to make. You can rush it, but the flavors won’t be nearly developed enough. The end result is a thick, salty, rich, hearty flavored bolognese and is incredible over fettuccine or rice. Hubs and son aren’t fond of pasta, so they prefer it over rice. 🙂 Enjoy!
2 full sized celery stalks
12-14 baby carrots
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs of chuck or sirloin
1 1/2 small cans of tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine (either Merlot or Cab) Oh darn, you’ll have some leftover to drink…
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2- 2 cups of water (repeat as many times as you need)
If you’re still a little scared to try, please watch a video, Anne Burrell has made a video showing how she makes hers. Now, she uses a shit-load of salt in hers. I don’t use that much. Again, make it to your own preference! Once I watched it, I felt much more confident that I could make it on my own! Click HERE to watch her video.