Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes or as long as possible on a very low heat
Skills needed: Basic
You will need:
2 medium carrots, diced small
3 medium brown onions, diced small
4 bacon rashers cut into small pieces
2 celery sticks, diced small
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped and crushed
3 tbsp tomato paste
1kg Winter Creek Farm beef mince
500ml red wine
3 bay leaves
Splash Worcestershire sauce
2 cans tinned tomatoes
500ml beef stock
1 large pack tagliatelle or spaghetti
150g of a good Italian parmesan cheese
1 loaf crusty bread and a green salad for serving
Note My tip for this sauce is to make it the day before you need it as the flavours will intensify.
Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 40g butter into the hot pan.
When the butter is melted and the oil hot, throw in the carrots, onion and bacon.
Cook for two minutes, stirring. Add in the celery.
Cook until the celery is soft and going translucent at the edges.
Sprinkle over 1 tbsp of brown sugar and stir through.
Add garlic and tomato paste. Move this all round the pan to cook out for three minutes.
Scrape the tomatoey vegetable mix into a bowl and set aside.
Splash some more olive oil into the pan.
When it is hot, throw in the mince and cook until browned.
Stir the meat the whole time so it cooks evenly.
Depending on the size of your pan, you may find it easier to do this in two batches.
Cut a 4cm long ribbon of lemon peel (without pith) and cut the lemon in half.
Scrape meat into the vegetable mix bowl that you set aside.
Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan using the red wine.
When the wine has reduced by half, add back the meat, vegetable mix, bay leaves, a couple of good dashes of Worcestershire sauce, lemon peel, tomatoes and stock. Stir.
Season with salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice from one half of the lemon, reserve the rest.
Bring to the boil covered, then remove lid and turn the heat right down.
Cook very gently for up to four hours. Stir occasionally to ensure the sauce doesn’t stick and burn.
If the sauce gets too thick, add some more stock and stir it in.
The sauce is ready when it smells irresistible, wonderfully thick, and is a dark red, glossy colour.
Taste and season with a little more salt and lemon juice as required.
You can now either serve it straight away or cool it and refrigerate before using the next day.
Cook the tagliatelle or spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water in a large pan.
When the pasta is cooked but still a little firm to the bite, carefully scoop out a cup of the starchy cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
Put a generous ladle of the bolognese sauce in the pasta pot (about two cups) and toss through the pasta. Moisten the combination with a little of the reserved pasta water so it isn’t clumpy.
Serve it with grated parmesan over the tagliatelle or spaghetti, bread for mopping up the leftover sauce and a crisp green salad.