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David Ross

eG Cook-Off 57: Bolognese Sauce

153 posts in this topic

Many thanks, nickrey, David and Shelby. It all goes to support the the old-country grandmother authenticity rule: mine is right, yours is wrong. But all delicious.


eGullet member #80.

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Many thanks, nickrey, David and Shelby. It all goes to support the the old-country grandmother authenticity rule: mine is right, yours is wrong. But all delicious.

Great job in the kitchen--so far. ScottyBoy has promised us his take on Bolognese. Shelby, tell us how all the duck flavors worked.

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....We don't have much in terms of fresh-made pasta where I live... I love Pappardelle, but the brand I bought is somewhat thin and falls apart quickly....

Dave, since making fresh pasta is far from rocket science, might this be a subject of one of your future cook-offs? Flour and water (egg or not) and a will to eat pasta? Some years ago when I had several high metabolism males at table, I used to turn out a fresh pasta most nights a week. It's a simple feat that should be revived and made part of our general repertory.


eGullet member #80.

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....We don't have much in terms of fresh-made pasta where I live... I love Pappardelle, but the brand I bought is somewhat thin and falls apart quickly....

Dave, since making fresh pasta is far from rocket science, might this be a subject of one of your future cook-offs? Flour and water (egg or not) and a will to eat pasta? Some years ago when I had several high metabolism males at table, I used to turn out a fresh pasta most nights a week. It's a simple feat that should be revived and made part of our general repertory.

Definately a good subject for another Cook-Off.

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I am sorry I was not able to participate in the actual cook-off. I make Bolognese frequently, esp in winter, but have been so busy I can barely fix myself an egg. I add whole milk after reducing the wine, and do two or three reductions of the meat in milk before adding the tomato and simmering. I don't use cream.

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Many thanks, nickrey, David and Shelby. It all goes to support the the old-country grandmother authenticity rule: mine is right, yours is wrong. But all delicious.

I've never subscribed to the grandmother principle. Everything I recommend is done for a specific reason.

Adding ingredients at different times means that they will cook differently and have a different impact on the taste.

You add cream or butter to a dish as a finishing element after it has finished its key cooking, otherwise it splits. Same thing applies to vinegar, which loses its volatility and the sourness that you want it to achieve if you cook it.

You can cook and reduce cream, which I do in one of my pepper sauces. This reduces and caramelises to provide a counterpoint to the heat of the pepper. But I'd never do this in a Bolognese as it would detract from the meat profile with an unnecessary sweetness.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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. . . . I never had a clue what sugo meant and leftover sauce from braised meat is one of my favorite things! I looked up several definitions of sugo and it can be as basic as "sauce" which I think is a little misleading, or as specific as: "a sauce made by adding stock, flour or other ingredients to the juice and fat that is rendered from cooked meat." That is also a little misleading, since in my mind that is gravy--as in what happens when the turkey comes out of the oven. Not to be confused with what Margaret Pilgim noted is "sunday gravy" which often refers to the whole pot of braised meats that is then divided and served in two parts: the meat, and a portion of pasta al sugo. I prefer a broader more middle-ground approach as Sam describes above, meaning simply the sauce without the meat that cooked in it. That way it applies to what I love about the leftovers of Coq au Vin: the chicken is long gone, but the sauce on rice is the last meal.

Apparently sugo is from the Latin "to suck" (and that would be suck in the best possible way.) As in serve the succulent sauce that is left over after the meat has been eaten or removed over some yummy carbs (whether pasta, polenta or rice) and suck. It. Up.

To get back on topic, I did make a Bolognese once, from a Batali recipe. I don't think it was a bad recipe, but I came to the conclusion that I simply don't like the idea of milk in a meat-based sauce.

Specifically, in Italian 'sugo' means juice.

Incidentally, dairy is by no means a 'must' in ragù bolognese: There are plenty of food historians/bolognesi who are as vehement about not using milk, cream, or either, as insist that it is key! If you speak even a little italian, do an online search for something like [ragù bolognese latte crema sì o no?], and enjoy the flying fur :biggrin:


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Many thanks, nickrey, David and Shelby. It all goes to support the the old-country grandmother authenticity rule: mine is right, yours is wrong. But all delicious.

Great job in the kitchen--so far. ScottyBoy has promised us his take on Bolognese. Shelby, tell us how all the duck flavors worked.

They worked beautifully together. I ended up adding 5 chicken livers, too. They made the dish a bit more creamy, but definitely not too livery. Just a hint of that mineral taste, you know?

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Just started my Ragu!!

6340240331_9dacc44b4a.jpg

25 Oz Homer Rabbit with Liver--Native in Nebraska, raised in Homer

5 Oz La Quercia Pancetta -- this has a we bit of an Anise flavor to it

1 carrot

1 celery

1 onion --Garden Raised I am using a 2 onion-1 carrot --1 celery

1 Tomato--Garden raised

1t Paste Hunts

Nob of Parm rind

Splash of white italian wine and My venison stock ( which I had to call the extension service in nebraska to fine out about chronic wasting ds before I made it) pepper and 3 small bay leaf

I cooked it as I would put my Sunday gravy together!! Now it will braise and I shred it later and finish.

Now about the pasta-- I'm thinking of making green ribbon ( spinach added ), just to get back to all my yard pesky rabbits that eat my garden spinach and produce!! :laugh:

Edit: I Put in 1 Dried Porcini


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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So I choose to leave the meat on the bone, now a low cook, so into the oven

6340982478_7f8bedef09.jpg


Its good to have Morels

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So I'm reading through Blumenthal's 'spag bol' recipe and it says to simmer uncovered, but to top up with water as required so everything is always under liquid. How would this differ from simmering with the lid either on, or partly on? If the aim to maintain the same amount of liquid, surely leaving the lid on would help retain flavours? Even partly on would allow a trickle of condensation back into the pot that presumably has more flavour than plain water?

Not sure about that one. I enjoy the "Perfection" books more for the look into how and why he did certain things and why he didn't do others than for the actual recipes. I like that he's not afraid to ruffle the feathers of tradition while respecting it at the same time.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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My finished Chopped Rabbit Ragu.

Bolognese?

Chopped vs grind meat ? I tended to chop mine, even if I use veal and Pork or beef

Better to serve the next day after a rest ?

6341452270_92ca8b2aae.jpg


Its good to have Morels

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The ragù bolognese, over pasta:

MjxBologneseL 2011-11-13 at 19.46.00.png

We couldn't find pappardelle – hard to find where we live, for some reason – but my boyfriend was really happy with the way the sauce worked with rigatoni (I had mine over rice – not a great texture combination – because my joints were playing up too much for me to risk eating wheat-based pasta, and I couldn't find any remotely decent rice-based pasta).

I'm really happy with the addition of the gelatine, and my two recipe sources in general: I definitely recommend them both.

I discovered earlier today that I'd flaked and forgotten about a quarter of the pancetta, when I put it in the refrigerator to re-chill, since it was getting difficult to chop up, which probably explains why I needed to add some fat when I sautéed the vegetable.

My finished Chopped Rabbit Ragu.

Bolognese?

Might instead deserve to be honoured by being called a game ragù :smile:

. . . .Better to serve the next day after a rest ?

Mine definitely improved over a 24-hour period, became more balanced. I really like the way strongly-flavoured things develop over a little time, as compared to when they're first finished. Yesterday, the ragù I made had an aggressive liver note that was gone today, and no one ingredient leapt out and dominated; the flavour was very rich and seamless.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Many thanks, nickrey, David and Shelby. It all goes to support the the old-country grandmother authenticity rule: mine is right, yours is wrong. But all delicious.

I've never subscribed to the grandmother principle. Everything I recommend is done for a specific reason.

Adding ingredients at different times means that they will cook differently and have a different impact on the taste.

You add cream or butter to a dish as a finishing element after it has finished its key cooking, otherwise it splits. Same thing applies to vinegar, which loses its volatility and the sourness that you want it to achieve if you cook it.

You can cook and reduce cream, which I do in one of my pepper sauces. This reduces and caramelises to provide a counterpoint to the heat of the pepper. But I'd never do this in a Bolognese as it would detract from the meat profile with an unnecessary sweetness.

Actually, I think you and Margaret are saying the same thing, i.e., "mine is right, yours is wrong, but all DELICIOUS!"

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Well

I had to finish my dish!!

6341298269_051e7248ba.jpg


Its good to have Morels

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As I write I have a large pot on the flame tamer doing the final reduction. I followed a (the?) Marcella Hazan recipe from a Seattle Times article several years ago.

It's quite basic with the wilted veggies in fat, ground beef, salt and pepper, milk, white wine, a pinch of nutmeg and some mashed up canned tomatoes. I only changed it a bit, no celery and more onion, and red wine since that is what I had. Just guessing that I might have wanted to add more milk than she said.

I think this deserves some fresh pasta so I plan to make Mario's basic "countertop" dough and cut it in strips.

Looking forward to the fresh batch and quite a bit will be frozen in small batches.

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I revisited my Ragu a few days later, and I would have to say, what an improvement in flavors and I would say texture too. One of those dishes that I think a day ahead will help or at least this one.

paul


Its good to have Morels

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I revisited my Ragu a few days later, and I would have to say, what an improvement in flavors and I would say texture too. One of those dishes that I think a day ahead will help or at least this one.

paul

I agree. I let one of my Bolognese sauces sit in the fridge for three days and it was much better when reheated.

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I freeze left over ragu and it seems to survive remarkably well, making a very quick and easy weekday evening meal over some freshly cooked pasta.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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Here's how they make the ragu bolognese at Del Posto:


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I freeze left over ragu and it seems to survive remarkably well, making a very quick and easy weekday evening meal over some freshly cooked pasta.

As posted above, I make large quantities precisely to freeze for "kids'" fast food. And, yes, I have noticed that this sauce, like most braises, definitely improves in the refrigerator and possibly in the freezer as well.

eGullet member #80.

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