Simple Bolognese

Mince is one of the most underrated meats out there.  Honestly, there are endless combinations and flavours you can incorporate into the humble mince and its not just beef mince available either.  IMG_2467 Ostrich mince is a great, lean (protein rich) alternative, lamb mince has an amazing flavour and both pork and chicken mince are equally delicious. IMG_2468 The options are endless from good old spaghetti bolognese to koftas or meatballs and cottage pie.  As a student, mince is often my go to meat option as it is affordable and over the years I have built up quite a collection of mince-based recipes.  But today, I am going to talk about bolognese.IMG_2471 Honestly, a simple bolognese is one of the best recipes to have in your repertoire.  It is so versatile!  There is no one ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ recipe for bolognese, some people use wine, some people had pancetta, the choices are endless!  IMG_2472 My recipe is quick and easy and any left overs can by frozen and used for some meal at a later stage.  I used beef mince when I made this batch of bolognese but it tastes just as good with ostrich mince (or a mix of beef and ostrich), lamb mince and even chicken mince.  The chicken mince is a much lighter bolognese, a whole new experience. IMG_2474 If you have any leftover vegetables in the fridge, you can also just chop them up and add them to the bolognese where they will just melt into the sauce.  If there are any vegetable dodgers out there, you won’t even realise! IMG_2501_2Bolognese

Serves 8-10

The recipe can be halved or doubled

  • 1 kg beef mince (I use lean beef mince)
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 sticks of celery, diced including leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp mixed dried herbs
  • 2 tins of tomato
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 500ml beef stock (could be less or more) 15g basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Add a good splash of olive oil to a pot on medium to high heat
  2. Brown the mince and when cooked add the carrots, onion and celery
  3. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
  4. Add the tin tomato, mixed herbs and tomato paste (add wine if desired)
  5. Add enough stock so that the mince is just covered by the liquid
  6. Mix together and taste.  Season to your liking
  7. Simmer for at least 30 minutes (put in less stock if you want a quick bolognese).  I like to leave it on the stove for 2 hours, so it cooks down slowly and the liquid has slowly evaporated leaving lots of flavour
  8. Stir in the basil and season if needed
  9. Serve on spaghetti, in a lasagna or even on toast for breakfast

Note: Once cooled, it can be frozen for the future Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 8.18.35 AM

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