Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 26 | 3-4 hours cooking | 30 mins preparation

There are lots of “Traditional Recipes” and arguments about what should and shouldn’t go into a Bolognese sauce but this is all rubbish. There is no traditional recipe, every grandmother had her own recipe, the only thing in common is long slow cooking and using mincemeat which is on the fatty side, don’t buy lean mince or higher quality steak mince for this, you want the regular cheap sort from the supermarket.

This is my recipe for Bolognese sauce (Ragu alla Bolognese). Cooking it on a low heat for many hours gives a rich sauce full of flavour.

Make this recipe your own and adapt it to however you like your Bolognese, more tomato and mushrooms then just add them, you want it chunkier or smoother then adjust it and enjoy it however you like it

This recipe is also a great way to use up any leftover veg you have that’s starting to go a bit soft, just chop it up and add it in.

I do not like adding wine into my Bolognese, I’d rather drink it while cooking instead, but feel free to add a glass if you want or need an excuse to open the bottle

You can use this as the meat sauce for a lasagne, I find a lasagne for 4 will use 6-7 portions of this sauce.

Ingredients

  • 750g Beef mince
  • 750g Pork mince
  • 250g smoked bacon – get the cooking bacon for this and save some money
  • 3 large onions – finely chopped
  • 4 sticks celery – finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots – finely chopped
  • 1 large green pepper – finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper – finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes – finely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic – finely chopped (yes a whole bulb!)
  • 2 beef stock pots or 3 oxo cubes
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worchester sauce
  • large pinch dried chilli flakes
  • handful mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper

Optional

  • 250 g lambs kidney – finely chopped
  • Any vegetables that need using up – finely chopped
  • Glass red wine

Method

  1. Over a high heat add a little oil to a large pan and brown the meat, you will need to do this in batches, draining any excess fluids or oil between each batch. Keep the browned meat in a bowl.
  2. Turning down the heat to medium/high cook the onions in the pan for 4 minutes, add the garlic and mix, continue frying for another couple minutes until softened
  3. Add the remaining chopped vegetables and cook for a further 5 minutes
  4. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and mixed herbs
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients, stock cubes and 1 ltr of water, bring to the boil and reduce heat to very low to simmer for 3 hours, stir every 30 minutes and add extra water if required during this time.
  6. After 2 hours I like to use a hand blender briefly to create a smoother sauce and continue simmering for another hour.

Notes

I bag this up into individual portions, flattened into zip lock bags, for the freezer. This way I have sauce ready whenever I need a late or unplanned dinner, and being flattened it will defrost and be ready to heat in 20 minutes. when heating add a little of the pasta water if required to thin the sauce a little.

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