This classic ragu Bolognese consists of vegetables, veal, pork and pancetta which are slow-cooked with milk, white wine an...
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The reason it is cooked longer is that this gives the sauce and ingredients time to really come together. I guess it's the same reason why stews and braised dishes taste better the next day...time and patience.
Hope this helps!
Yes... you should be able to get this from any butcher. I suggest you call ahead and order it though. Windsor Meats on Main, Jacksons on Granville Street, City Meats on 4th Avenue (across from Safeway in kits) are good places to start.
Here's a link for you:
Joe, the one at 4th and Vine in Kits is called market meats. I just checked their website and it says they have ground veal: http://www.marketmeats.com/mmprimeveal.htm Thanks for the tip, I forgot about them.
They are expensive though... I wonder if Cioffi's or Bosa's would have it.
Making this tomorrow for my wife's birthday (she's half Italian). I got ground veal at Bosa along with some strozzapreti pasta. I had strozzapreti for the first and only time at La Terrazaa downtown about a year ago and I thought it went really well with a thick Bolognese sauce. Can't wait to try it again...
It turned out great and everyone loved it. Seasoning was very important and I almost forgot to do it. I tasted it and it was quite bland then added salt until it tasted really good, then stopped right there to make sure I didn't over salt it. The strozzapretti went pretty well with it, although not as well as I would have hoped. I'm still not used to such a chunky sauce. Any recommendations for what pasta to serve with such a think & chunky sauce as this?
I couldn't taste the pancetta enough. I might try putting half a pound next time...hopefully that's not overdoing it.
If my memory serves me correctly I remember reading somewhere that the "official" primary meat to be used in a Bolognese is ground skirt steak.
Back in the 1980's, in Bologna, some culinary council for the city ruled that for an authentic sauce skirt steak must be used. They went on to further define if milk should be added
In my experience it should ideally be served with big pasta shapes like linguine, tagliatelle, and fettuccine.
This sauce was made specifically for Mario Batali's Lasagne alla Bolognese al Forno:
Not really sure about the skirt steak rule. As a chef, I can't tell you how many times I've heard the word "official" or "authentic" used. Everyone, everywhere in the world seems to have their own version. I say, if it works and taste goods, it really doesn't matter.
I would agree that big meaty sauces traditionally go with larger pasta shapes but the idea behind this ragu is that when cooked in liquid over a long period of time, that the meat actually breaks down quite a bit.
As for the recipe, you'll have to take that up with the big guy - Mario B - as it's his recipe, not ours.
I should add that the Lasagne recipe is amazing - best one I've ever made. Takes a lot of time to prepare, but worth every bite.
I have never heard of uncured pancetta. I think that perhaps uncured pancetta (as well as uncured bacon) is actually just pork belly. What makes pancetta, pancetta and bacon, bacon is the curing process.
As for using pork belly in a bolognese sauce, I am sure it would also be good. It just won't have the same flavor profile. If you try using just pork belly instead of pancetta, let us know how it turns out. Cheers!
My question is about browning the meat. Mine didn't turn out brown at all -- seemed quite a bit lighter than what is pictured. Does this make a difference? I cooked it as the recipe suggested, but I noticed quite a bit of moisture/liquid in the pot, and I suspect that's why the meat didn't brown.
There could be a few reasons why the meat did not brown...without being there or being able to ask more questions, I would say this...the heat maybe was not high enough or perhaps the pan was not large enough for the amount of meat you had, which in turn maybe made the meat steam rather than saute. Also, the meat could have been a bit wet or fatty.
That being said, I made this same ragu the other day. I actually made a batch and a half and because I had more meat, my ragu also steamed a bit...but I was okay with this, as I was also adding tomato sauce to make it more saucy. I had a bit of extra fat and moisture on the surface of my ragu, so I just skimmed it off and kept on going. I added about 4 cups of tomato sauce and it made for a delicious spaghetti dinner.
That's what is great about cooking, it's never boring, it's about practicing and adjusting...working with what you have and what is actually happening while you are cooking.
Hope this helps!
Thanks, Dawn. The meal was delicious nonetheless -- just finished eating. I tossed some tagliatelle into the ragu, and shaved on some grana padano.
It's interesting that you added tomato sauce, as we were just commenting that we'd add some next time to make it a little more saucy. I had thought specifically about adding the basic tomato sauce that's covered under the Italian cooking lesson section.
As for the pot I used, it's a Staub 4.5 quart cocotte. Perhaps I need a bigger one, as it was quite full before everything cooked down.
(By the way, I have recently discovered cooking as a passion, and I love this site!)
In the general seasonality of veggies, we've found that celery gets really scarce in Zürich in the winter - and it's not exactly plentiful other times. I've been using celery root, which is available - "knollensellerie" - in my mirapoix with acceptable if not outstanding results Am I on the right track? Are there other ideas I might look for to help balance the mirapoix flavor triad?
You are on the right track Anthony. You are thinking about what is available to you and adapting. You are also thinking like a chef, in that you are experimenting and finding out what works for you.
If you haven't already, you should also watched the Drill-down on Mirepoix. It also talks about different flavor profiles of mirepoix.
Hope this helps, keep up the good work!
Even though it was store bought, I followed the video lesson and it came out perfectly!!! Added some butter to the Basil/Tomato Sauce from Trader Joe's (organic food store in the USA), and also added some medium thin cut zucchinis to the sauce and dried oregano. After the pasta was done, I tossed it with the sauce! It was a bit thick so I added a bit of water from the cooking pasta and it came out so good! Topped it off with some fresh shredded parmesan cheese and also had a glass of Italian wine!
I had the feeling of being in a good restaurant! I was in heaven! Food is great when you do it right!