In 2023, one of my goals is to focus more on cooking and learning to cook. And I’m writing it here first to keep my accountable and so I remember.
Over 2020, Instagram has become insufferable with bloggers, instagrammers and all of that stuff. I once saw someone make a Cacio e Pepe in a pressure cooker, just because it was #gifted. Cacio e Pepe is made with 3 ingredients.
Today is something a bit different. A recipe requested a few times so I thought, why not post it here? For the entire world to see?
So here’s my recipe for a simple, perfect ragu bolognese.
And if you cook this in a pressure cooker, I’ll hunt you down, stuff you into a pressure cooker, into a cannon and fire you into the sun.
750g of Ground Beef (10-20% Fat)
2 Medium Onions, finely diced.
2 Celery Stalks, finely diced.
2 Large Carrots, finely diced.
80kg of Pancetta, or Streaky Bacon.
250ml of White Wine
150ml of Tomato Paste
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp of Thyme
1/2 tsp of Oregano
1/2 tsp of Parsley
1/2 tsp of Basil
Pinch of Nutmeg
300ml of Chicken or Beef Stock
250ml of Whole Milk
300g of Tagliatelle, Pappardelle or Rigatoni.
Parmesan (As much as you want, what do I look like, the cheese police?)
Finely chop your onion, celery and carrot, this is your soffrito.
On a medium heat, add some olive oil to your large pan/ pot with high sides and once hot, add your beef to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, smash your ground beef into the bottom of the pan, this will create crisp brown spots but will also gets rid of the nasty looking strands ground/minced meat has. You want this to look like chunks, not little meat worms. And don’t forget to season with salt and pepper. Once the meat is browned but not overcooked and dried out, remove from the pan into a bowl.
To the hot pan, add your pancetta or bacon, let this release it’s moisture and get crispy. Once this is done, add your soffrito to pan and let it cook in that fat. Cook these for 8 minutes.
Add your beef back to the pan and give it all a mix up. Keeping the pan at medium heat, add your white wine and let that cook off till the wine is mostly evaporated.
Add your tomato past and mix that in, once mixed add all your herbs and the pinch of nutmeg and your bay leaves. Mix and cook this for around 5 minutes.
Note: Don’t go wild mixing if you’re using dried bay leaf, you don’t want to crush and break this up.
Add your stock and stir well, once mixed reduce your heat and add in milk.
At this point, I also like to add in a little bit of parmesan or any nutty cheese I had some leftover black truffle cheddar which I added in at this point and it was incredible.
Cook this for 30-45 minutes at a minimum, if you can cook it longer, even better, just keep adding water to keep it from completely drying out. The aim here is to have a nice thick meaty mixture, the liquid should be velvety, sticking everything together.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Cook your pasta, do whatever the packet says. But add salt to the water for gods sake.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and leave 200ml of pasta water to the side.
Add your pasta back to the drained pot you cooked it in, add however much bolognese you’re eating in ratio to the pasta you cooked and mixed it all up well, you can do this over a few low flame if you want to keep it hot. After a good mix, your pasta water, bolognese and pasta will have joined forced to create a beautiful, velvety, ragu bolognese.
Chop some fresh parsley and add that in with some grated parmesan.
Serve it, eat it, tell your friends.
And hey, if you’re doing this across a couple days, guess what? The ragu only gets better in the fridge, your dinner the next day will blow your socks off.
Thanks for sticking around.