I just realised I’ve never logged my standard, eat every day of the week if I could get away with it, bolognaise recipe. Well, it’s not a bolognaise, more like a meat and veg jumble. Anyway, I thought it might be an idea to jot it down so the kids can recreate the taste of their childhood if I happen to cark it before they learn to make it themselves. It’s nothing special, but the minxes really love it. The only way to stop Maxi from talking sometimes is to ask her if she would rather have lasagne or macaroni and cheese for dinner: she’ll really struggle over that one. (Don’t add ‘sausages’ as another option or her wee brain will burst).
Ingredients3 celery sticks 3 medium carrots big onion or 2 medium ones 4 – 6 cloves of garlic half a tube of tomato puree 500g beef mince heaped teaspoon of mixed herbs (Italian seasoning, Provencal mix, whatever) bay leaf if you can be bothered loads of ground pepper 500g pork mince little packet pancetta tin or 2 of plum tomatoes carton of passata glass of red wine or some beef stock
* Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a big casserole pot and a big frying pan. Put the casserole pot on to a lowish heat, and the frying pan on to medium-high
* Chop the celery and carrot and fry / sweat in the casserole
* At the same time, fry the chopped onion. Don’t let it go brown. When it’s cooked-ish, add the finely chopped garlic. Push around for a bit.
* Scrape it into the casserole and mix around.
* Fry beef mince in the frying pan. At the end, add herbs and bay leaf and ground pepper. I don’t add salt because the pancetta has some, and it’s easy for adults to add some to theirs when it’s done. Scrape into casserole
* Fry pork mince in the frying pan. While you’re doing that, add the tomato puree to the casserole. Give it a good mix. Add tinned tomatoes, passata, stock/wine. Mix well. Scrape pork mince into casserole. Stir it in.
* Fry pancetta and add to casserole.
* Bring casserole to bubble, add lid, and leave it simmering gently for 2 hrs
It always tastes better reheated, so after a few hours I tend to divide it into portions. This lot will do about 4 portions for my hungry zoo.
Use a portion of bolognaise. Layer it with lasagne pasta and bechamel sauce (3 layers of each: pasta, then bolognaise, then bechamel). After 9th layer, add good grating of red leicester and parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 mins at 200degC.
I don’t know about proper bechamel sauce, but I make it by melting 40g butter, add 40g plain flour and a good grating of nutmeg. Stir and stir and stir. Slowly add about 400ml full fat milk. Stir and stir and stir till it comes to the boil. I always end up making it too runny and cursing.