Basic Bolognese

This is basic meat sauce recipe I use for whatever I feel like putting some tomatoie, beefie filling in. For example: homemade pizza pockets (YUMMM recipe coming soon, I promise!), lasagna, ravioli and other such bits of goodness. I even think it would make a great base for cottage pie. You can use it for good ol’Bolognese, but I’m not 100% sold on that. Don’t get me wrong, this is delicious, but I’m still in search of the perfect Bolognese recipe. I’ll be sure to let you know when I find it! If I ever do….In the meantime, this is a simple, easy, inexpensive recipe that turns regular ol’mince into something totally different and completely yummy. I will admit that it’s slightly time consuming in that you need to be around while it simmers for an hour or so, but that’s just about as difficult as baby sitting a cactus. Plus, all that simmering makes you’re house smell delicious so why would you want to leave? The best part is, this recipe is totally freezable! So if you feel like making a more normal size lasagna instead of one to feed an army, just pop the leftover Bolognese into a ziplock and away into the freezer where it will patiently wait for you to make some other tomatoie, beefie concoction.

P.S. I know!!! It’s a meatie dish! I have started to warm up to the idea of eating meat again. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Makes ~9 servings, fills 15 pizza pockets, or makes one massive lasagna

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4-6 clove garlic minced (I used 4 ginormous cloves)
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 800g diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup red wine
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the vegetables by dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and chopping the carrot as finely as you can. The size of carrot chunks are really to preference. I’m not a big fan of getting a bite of just carrot in my Bolognese so I go for a finer chop.
  2. Reserving a handful of basil leaves, finely chop the rest as best you can.
  3. In a large pan or pot that has a lid (key thing there), add a few lugs of olive oil or enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots with the chopped basil to the pot and fry on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened.
  5. Next, add that meat!!! Along with the oregano, paprika, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Mix it all up and, turning the heat up a tad, stir constantly until the meat has browned.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the diced tomatoes and red wine. Make sure that there is enough liquid to completely cover the meat. How much wine you add is really up to you. I’m a big fan of the rich taste wine gives a dish so I tend to be on the, uhm, generous side. Remember: the more liquid you add, the longer you will have to let the dish simmer for.
  7. Allow the Bolognese to come to a bubble, then lid and turn the heat down to low. Leave to simmer away for at least an hour.
  8. Once the Bolognese has reached the desired consistency, stir in the tomato paste and turn off the heat. Let sit for about 10mins.
  9. As you’re waiting for the Bolognese to cool a bit (trust me, it’s like magma as this point) tear up the remaining basil leaves. Or if you’re not the tearing sort, chop them up a bit with a pair of scissors.
  10. Once the Bolognese has cooled a bit, have a taste and adjust the seasoning. I usually end up adding more salt and pepper, but every time it’s slightly different.
  11. Either stir in the torn basil leaves, or add as a garnish to your favourite meatie sauce dish.
  12. Enjoy :)
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