This was my grandfather’s bolognese recipe. Before him, it was his Italian aunt’s. So this sauce has been enjoyed around our family table for easily over a hundred years.
I never understand why people purchase those jarred bolognese sauces at the supermarket. They are so easy to cook and they do make the house smell so nice while they’re cooking.
The secret to this sauce is the dried porcini mushrooms. My kids aren’t exactly mushroom fans so I cut the dried porcini up into small, unrecognisable pieces and they love it.
Bolognese sauce is great served on your pasta of choice. It’s also quite nice spooned over burgers or used as a base sauce for lasagne. Come to think of it, it’s quite nice served as a soup too.
- 1 kilo (2lb) minced beef and veal mix
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 300g pork lardons
- 10 dried porcini mushrooms soaked in hot water for a half hour (retain water)
- 2 onions - finely chopped
- 10 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, thyme, rosemary
- ½ bottle of red wine
- A spash or two Worcestershire sauce
- 1 litre (4 cups) chopped tomatoes
- The end of a chunk of Parmesan (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley - finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh basel - finely chopped
- Soak your dried porcini in about 500ml (2 cups) hot water for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the porcini and cut into very small pieces. Retain the soaking liquid.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
- When good and hot, add the lardons and fry until lightly browned.
- Now add the minced beef and continue frying until cooked through. You will need to move the meat around in the pot from time to time.
- Add the chopped garlic and onion and stir it into the meat. Continue cooking for about ten more minutes. Don't worry about burning the meat. It won't.
- Pour the bottle of wine over the cooked meat followed by a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes, chopped porcini mushrooms and the dried herbs and stir it all up nicely. If you are adding a Parmesan chunk, do it now.
- Carefully add the soaking liquid from the mushrooms. There will be some dirt at the bottom of the bowl so try not to add that too.
- Allow to simmer for at least an hour or all day if you like.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chopped fresh herbs to serve.