What We’re Eating – Bolognese

I decided to go on a little grocery blitz today and make some food to freeze. Today I made a double batch of my version of a bolognese. I even took a little video so you could see the cooking in action! Bolognese takes a while, so it’s definitely not a last minute dish. But it also freezes well, so it’s a good idea to make a double batch and freeze some for later.  Enjoy!

Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style*

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

Makes: A little more than 4 cups

Time: At least 3 hours, largely unattended

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion chopped

1 celery stalk chopped

16 oz. lean ground beef

1/2 cup juice from tomatoes (or dry white wine, I’m not using wine because even though most of the alcohol cooks off, I don’t really want to potentially tax either of our livers at this point.)

1 28- or 35-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (I usually dump the whole thing, juice and all, even when I did use wine)

1 can unsalted tomato sauce

1 cup beef or chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions. Cook for a bit, then add in the carrot and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes
  2. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up any clumps, until all traces of red are gone about 5 minutes. Add the tomato juice (or wine), raise the heat a bit, and cook, stirring occasionally, until  most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Crush the tomatoes with a fork or your hands and add them to the pot; stir, then add the stock and the can of sauce. Turn the heat to low and cook at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes and any clumps of meat that remain. After an hour or so, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for another hour at least, until much of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is very thick.

* I know that a typical bolognese involves heavy cream at the end, but creamy stuff doesn’t freeze as well, and I’m lactose intolerant, plus I never feel like I need the cream. If you want to be more authentic, add the cream once the sauce is mostly cooked down and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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