Cooking with Tan Chef Tan Mackay

Home   Introduction   Basics    Recipes   Contact

 

Chef Tan Cooking with Tan

Home    Introduction    Basics 

Recipes    Contact

 

Cooking with Tan

Home    Introduction    Basics 

Recipes    Contact

Easy Peasy Recipes

Ragù alla Bolognese

ragu alla bolognese

Easy peasy :   ★ ★    
Economic :   ★ ☆    
Can freeze :   ★ ★    

4 Servings

Preparation time approx 10 minutes

Cooking time approx 75 minutes

SUMMARY

In this recipe I will show you how to make an exquisite traditional style ragù sauce.

A processed cook-in bolognese sauce out of a jar is hard to beat when it comes to a convenient "spagbol", but making your own ragù isn’t difficult and the results are more than enough reward for the little extra effort.

I like to serve mine with tagliatelle, which I think is more manageable than spaghetti, but other pasta shapes can be used and young children especially, tend to make less mess if served with fusilli.

I use the same recipe for the ragù I use in my (meat) lasagnes. The ragù is also perfect for freezing which makes it ideal if you are cooking for low numbers as you can keep a batch in your freezer and, when needed in future, you will just need to heat through until piping hot, and boil some pasta to accompany it.

 

thumbnail for spagbol video link
Click to watch video

SUMMARY

In this recipe I will show you how to make an exquisite traditional style ragù sauce.

A processed cook-in bolognese sauce out of a jar is hard to beat when it comes to a convenient "spagbol", but making your own ragù isn’t difficult and the results are more than enough reward for the little extra effort.

I like to serve mine with tagliatelle, which I think is more manageable than spaghetti, but other pasta shapes can be used and young children especially, tend to make less mess if served with fusilli.

I use the same recipe for the ragù I use in my (meat) lasagnes. The ragù is also perfect for freezing which makes it ideal if you are cooking for low numbers as you can keep a batch in your freezer and, when needed in future, you will just need to heat through until piping hot, and boil some pasta to accompany it.

 

thumbnail for spagbol video link
Click to watch video

*** THIS CELL DELIBERATELY LEFT BLANK ***

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g Beef mince
  • 2 x rashers Streaky Bacon
  • 1 x Onion (medium)
  • 1 x Carrot (medium)
  • 1 x stick Celery
  • 300ml Milk (semi skimmed)
  • 200ml Red wine
  • 3 x TBS Tomato puree
  • 1 x Beef stock cube
  • 1 x tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 x Garlic clove
  • 1 x Bay leaf
  • Small knob of Butter
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Pasta as required

 

METHOD

Firstly some tips:

(i) I prefer to use a wok for this dish as I find it easier when it comes to stirring the contents of the pan, but if you haven’t got a wok, make sure your frying pan is large enough to comfortably hold all the ingredients.

(ii) Keep your eye on the heat throughout the cooking and adjust as required: The pan will cool down when you add large amounts of ingredients and the heat will need turning up again to bring back to a boil. Some elements, for example the onions will need a low heat for sweating, whereas the beef mince will need a high heat in order to brown the meat. At other times only a very gentle simmer may be required.

(iii) Streaky bacon is listed as an ingredient but it’s the flavour of the pork fat that’s important, therefore the bacon can be substituted for say 125gm of pork mince if preferred. (A restauranteur in Rome told me his mother uses a pork sausage in her ragù).

(iv) Don’t go overboard with the quality of wine but if you wouldn’t drink it, then I suggest you wouldn’t want to ruin your food with it either.

Let's get started:

  1. Finely chop the onions and finely chop the carrots. Cut the celery into 5cm lengths.

  2. Cut the bacon into small pieces eg 1.5cm squares.

  3. Add a little rapeseed oil to the frying pan or wok, and bring up to a medium heat. Add a knob of butter.

  4. Add the garlic and the chopped onions, and stir. Add the carrots and the bacon (or minced pork if you’re using minced pork), and stir. You want the pan to sweat just a little and release the flavours, so turn the temperature down if the pan is sizzling too much – you don’t want to burn anything.

  5. When the onions are starting to look translucent, add the minced beef, and keep stirring. The temperature of the pan will have dropped so you will need to turn it up; you will need a medium to high heat as you want to brown the meat, but if it takes too long to colour you’ll end up drying it out. Season with salt, a good grind of black pepper, and the Italian herbs.

  6. When the meat is browned all over, pour in the red wine, crumble the beef stock cube over the top, stir, and add the celery and the bay leaf. Bring everything to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t catch and burn.

  7. After 10 minutes the wine should have noticeably reduced. Add the milk until the contents of the pan are only just covered. Add the tomato puree. Turn up the heat and stir, and as soon as the pan begins to boil turn the heat right down, stir, and let everything simmer again. At this point I like to leave on a very gentle simmer for about an hour.

  8. Before serving, remove the chunks of celery and the bay leaf. Serve with your preferred pasta, and/or with garlic bread.

When it comes to spaghetti, tagliatelle or fusilli, I use dried pasta which just needs to be put in boiling water, with a little salt, and left to boil for around 10 - 12 minutes. A good portion of spaghetti, when clutched in the hand, is about the size of a pound coin. A portion of dried taglatelle is about 3 clusters and a portion of fusilli is about 2 - 3 handfuls. Click for more about pasta.

 

METHOD

Firstly some tips:

(i) I prefer to use a wok for this dish as I find it easier when it comes to stirring the contents of the pan, but if you haven’t got a wok, make sure your frying pan is large enough to comfortably hold all the ingredients.

(ii) Keep your eye on the heat throughout the cooking and adjust as required: The pan will cool down when you add large amounts of ingredients and the heat will need turning up again to bring back to a boil. Some elements, for example the onions will need a low heat for sweating, whereas the beef mince will need a high heat in order to brown the meat. At other times only a very gentle simmer may be required.

(iii) Streaky bacon is listed as an ingredient but it’s the flavour of the pork fat that’s important, therefore the bacon can be substituted for say 125gm of pork mince if preferred. (A restauranteur in Rome told me his mother uses a pork sausage in her ragù).

(iv) Don’t go overboard with the quality of wine but if you wouldn’t drink it, then I suggest you wouldn’t want to ruin your food with it either.

Let's get started:

  1. Finely chop the onions and finely chop the carrots. Cut the celery into 5cm lengths.

  2. Cut the bacon into small pieces eg 1.5cm squares.

  3. Add a little rapeseed oil to the frying pan or wok, and bring up to a medium heat. Add a knob of butter.

  4. Add the garlic and the chopped onions, and stir. Add the carrots and the bacon (or minced pork if you’re using minced pork), and stir. You want the pan to sweat just a little and release the flavours, so turn the temperature down if the pan is sizzling too much – you don’t want to burn anything.

  5. When the onions are starting to look translucent, add the minced beef, and keep stirring. The temperature of the pan will have dropped so you will need to turn it up; you will need a medium to high heat as you want to brown the meat, but if it takes too long to colour you’ll end up drying it out. Season with salt, a good grind of black pepper, and the Italian herbs.

  6. When the meat is browned all over, pour in the red wine, crumble the beef stock cube over the top, stir, and add the celery and the bay leaf. Bring everything to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t catch and burn.

  7. After 10 minutes the wine should have noticeably reduced. Add the milk until the contents of the pan are only just covered. Add the tomato puree. Turn up the heat and stir, and as soon as the pan begins to boil turn the heat right down, stir, and let everything simmer again. At this point I like to leave on a very gentle simmer for about an hour.

  8. Before serving, remove the chunks of celery and the bay leaf. Serve with your preferred pasta, and/or with garlic bread.

When it comes to spaghetti, tagliatelle or fusilli, I use dried pasta which just needs to be put in boiling water, with a little salt, and left to boil for around 10 - 12 minutes. A good portion of spaghetti, when clutched in the hand, is about the size of a pound coin. A portion of dried taglatelle is about 3 clusters and a portion of fusilli is about 2 - 3 handfuls. Click for more about pasta.

*** THIS CELL DELIBERATELY LEFT BLANK ***

 

Back to page:

Recipes

 

facebook icon spacer email icon spacer youtube icon spacer linkedin icon

Copyright © Tan Mackay 2022
All rights reserved.