Monday, February 1, 2010

1 of the Best Bolognese Sauces—from the Crockpot!

My friend Krisitn emailed asking for my best Crockpot (slow cooker) recipes. Having just started a new business and being Momma to two young children, she is looking for ways to maximize flavour while saving her precious time. I devised this recipe with Kristin in mind. 
What may surprise some American cooks, is that an authentic Bolognese sauce is not a red sauce with meat, rather it is a meat sauce with just a touch of red (in the form of tomato puree or paste- not chunks of tomatoes). Slowly simmering these flavourful, inexpensive cuts of meat in the a Crockpot is the best way I have found to capture up all those fabulous flavours.
There is about ten minutes of pre-cooking needed for this sauce. It is critical for all of the ingredients to be hot when placed into the slow cooker, this way the sauce begins to cook immediately, rather than needing an hour to simply get the ingredients up to temperature.

If you want to watch JennyB demonstrate this recipe click here

8 ounces (200 grams) Italian pancetta, cubed
¾ cup minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound (420 grams) lean pork, cubed
1 pound (420 grams) lean stewing beef, cubed
1 cup dry white wine
1 beef bouillon cube
¼ cup tomato puree (paste)
A big dash nutmeg
2-3 ounces single cream (half and half)

12 ounces wide pasta (tagliatelle, parppadelle)

Good quality Parmesan cheese for grating

1)   Pour the wine into the slow cooker and turn it on to high. Add in the bouillon cube and cover.
2)   Gently sauté the pancetta in a non-stick pan over medium heat to render out the fat. Cook until crisp, drain away the fat and reserve the crispy cubes. In the same (now dry) pan, add the minced shallots and garlic, sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Now add in the beef and pork, cover and allow to ‘cook’—you are really just getting the temperature in the meat up so that it is hot when added to the slow cooker. Cook for 2 minutes, until steaming.

3)   Now, add the pancetta, the hot beef and pork and tomato puree (paste),  into the slow cooker, cover and allow it to work it’s magic for three hours on ‘high’.
4)   After three hours, shred the meat—it should be fork tender. You can shred it in the pot or shred it a plate and return to he slow cooker. Place a large pot of very hot water over high heat—bring to a boil and cook the pasta. Sprinkle the nutmeg into the Bolognese sauce and pour in the cream. Cover and continue to cook while the pasta is cooking.
5)   Once the past is done, drain and toss with a pat of butter then some Parmesan. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well. Serve piping hot!  

Serves 6


Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about how involved with technology our daily lives have become. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further advances, the possibility of transferring our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about all the time.

(Submitted on FPost for R4i Nintendo DS.)

JennyB said...

Thanks for the comment! Will you expand about your topic? I am not quite making the connection between Bolognese sauce and technological advances-- but I haven't had any coffee yet today, so this may explain my ineptitude...
I am totally interested in knowing more about the point you are trying to get across.

Brad N. said...

Last Sunday I made your Bolognese sauce and it was fantastic! Migros speckwuerfeli were perfect for the pancetta. Big hit with the family.

So I got this really good idea that every Sunday I will make something from your website, and in a year I will have gone through every recipe. Simultaneously I am writing a book about my experience, tentatively called "Brad and Jenny". I hope you don't feel I am just using you to become famous, because, of course, that's exactly what I am doing.

I think it would make a good screenplay. Maybe Brad Pitt could play me and Jennifer Lopez could be you, or maybe Meryl Streep. On second thought, maybe Rowland Atkinson should play me.