Sunday, 23 September 2012

The best Bolognese I’ve ever eaten

According to a TV program I watched recently, Spaghetti Bolognese is one of Britain’s most ‘normal’ meals and as such lacks any real excitement.  But it’s become ‘normal’ because everyone likes it so much. In my opinion, if it’s done well, with good ingredients, with care and attention, and cooked slowly – it can be a meal for kings.

I recently came across a recipe from a new cookbook I bought; ‘Leon: Naturally fast food’. The book has a section called ‘slow fast food’, which is all about making big pots of loveliness and freezing them in small tubs for later when time is limited.  The recipe used turkey mince. The idea of this appealed to me, in the sense that it’s cheaper (ermmm, hello?) and it is a way of cutting back on red meat which, unfortunately, I succumb to far too regularly. On the flip side however, I was concerned that it would quite simply taste rather nasty tasting, anaemic and poor substitute for an absolute classic. But I gave it a go nonetheless!

I am happy to report however that it was quite the opposite.  You actually can’t tell it doesn’t contain beef – it’s just an extra lovely, soft textured, delicious Bolognese. This is absolutely one to try – especially if you are a Bolognese doubter or if you think Bolognese is a bit too common.

Becky – I insist you make this within the next week. And please report back!

Turkey Bolognese

2 onions
2 cloves garlic
250g mushrooms
600g turkey mince
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 level tbsp. tomato puree
325ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
A large dash Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

1.      Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, and slice the mushrooms.
2.      Heat the olive oil in the pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until they are starting to brown. Add the turkey mince and stir until browned all over.
3.      Add the chilli flakes, mushrooms and seasoning and cook for a few minutes.
4.      Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, wine, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and thyme.
5.      Simmer gently on the hob with the lid on for an hour and a half, making sure it doesn’t boil. Add more chicken stock or water if it appears to be drying out.

The recipe above is exactly how it appears in the Leon cookbook.  I have also made a version and added a grated carrot and finely sliced stick of celery with the onions and garlic and that was just as lovely (and added a bit more goodness).

Serve with all of the usual trimmings!
I currently have a few tubs in the freezer and used one to make a mid-week lasagne recently – really, REALLY good.

Ps. I promise I’ll accompany posts with photos soon ;-)

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