RECIPE: Marvellous Meat Bolognese

This recipe links to the post ‘Cleaning Up The Classics Part II

Serves 6

  • 400g organic beef mince
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions (I like the sweetness of the red but brown or white onions work just as well)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large courgette
  • 175ml red wine
  • 150g plum or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • a few large sprigs of fresh thyme and fresh oregano and 1 of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Heat a large pan on a high heat. Once hot add in your mince, use a wooden spoon to break it up but avoid stirring too often, you are looking to very quickly brown it and if you keep moving it about firstly it will stick and then it will boil. It will seal and brown in a couple of minutes at which point use a slotted spoon to remove it then return the pan to the stove with the lovely meaty juices.
  2. Finely dice your onions and add into the pan, cook on a very gentle heat in the meaty liquor until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Then add your diced courgette and celery, continue to cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the fresh herbs, bay leaves and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the fragrance fills the kitchen then add the wine, simmer to reduce and intensify the flavour but remove the alcohol.
  3. Once reduced, add the meat back into the pan with the tomato puree and mix everything together, seasoning with pepper but not salt at this point (it will toughen the meat).
  4. Add the 2 tins of tomatoes and rinse both cans with boiling water (also adding this to the sauce). Bring to a gentle, rolling simmer and leave to reduce for 45 minutes.
  5. Chop your fresh tomatoes into quarters and add to the sauce after this time, then cook for a further 25 minutes until beautifully unctuous and tempting.
  6. I like to leave this to go cold with all the herbs left in as I feel it allows the flavour to further develop, I then remove them squeezing the softened leaves back into the sauce and discarding the stems and bay leaves. Check the seasoning at this point as well and adjust as you desire.
  7. Serve with your chosen accompaniment, I would pump for a whole grain or naturally gluten free pasta, vegetable noodle or for a lighter version some lovely steamed greens.

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