Posts Tagged ‘Sauce’

Sausage RollsWe are back from Hawaii with many adventures to share and food to write about, just give me a day or two to settle back in to real life! I wanted to put a quick repost in honor of tonight’s start of the NFL season. I now have 16 weeks of Sundays where J. will barely communicate ahead of me but we both love the game and of course the food that comes with it.

It is also finals time for Aussie Rules and NRL back home in Australia so it is fitting for my wonderful Aussie followers also.

So here is a favorite recipe and favorite footy food from Australia – the sausage roll! A delicious savory treat with ketchup, relish or bbq sauce on the side and of course the prerequisite beer.

Check out the original entry here – Aussie Footy Food!

Enjoy the recipe and the football – whatever code or team you might follow!

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Ma's Bolognese Sauce.jpgOur family loves food. Every major event and significant occasion has been marked with food and accompanied with wine. From a young age I can remember my mum in the kitchen cooking. Coming home from school to freshly made snacks, dinners of lasagne, spaghetti and other delicious goodies.

Even now, 17 years after I last lived at home with Mum and Dad my favorite recipes are those that Mum made when I was little. These are the recipes I know by heart, even though they can be found in my tattered and stained recipe book, handwritten by mum, for when I first moved out of home. I love the smell of the house when I have made one of these recipes but particularly her bolognese/lasagne meat sauce. My new home starts to smell like my childhood home.

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There aren’t many things about my life that you would call traditional but when it comes to bolognese sauce I am a traditionalist. I have only ever made tiny alterations to my mum’s recipe,while my brothers have changed it completely to suit their tastes. My reasoning… why mess with perfection.

I am going to make this a two part blog entry. This one, Part 1 will focus on the delicious meat sauce that you can use for bolognese and lasagne. Later in the week I will do a lasagne entry, showing how I use this sauce for lasagne.

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I shared this recipe with J. a long time ago when we were living on opposite sides of the world. He made it for lasagne and loved it, until I made it for him. His was good, mine was great, my Mum’s… well it’s perfection!

Ok, so in a large pot heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it is hot throw in one finely chopped white onion and 3 garlic cloves, crushed. I also add in my herbs at this point, if I have them I use fresh but dried herbs work just fine too. Into the pot goes 1/2 tablespoon of oregano, basil and rosemary, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

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I usually let the onion and garlic soften for up to 5 minutes before adding in 4 strips of bacon chopped roughly. Is there a better smell in the world than bacon, garlic and onion in olive oil!! Sooo drool inducing.

When the bacon starts to brown I add in 600 grams of ground beef. Now, you can use a mix of meats which I have done before. I have combined pork and beef before and also had veal as well. Traditionally I just use beef.

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I stir the beef regularly making sure it is all browning. When you can’t see anymore pink I add in the crushed tomatoes. You need to just add 1 300 gram tin of crushed or diced tomatoes. Occasionally, I will add fresh tomatoes. I did this time, just putting 3 large tomatoes into boiling water (with the bottoms scored) for a few minutes. Then I just peeled and chopped and added them to the beef, seeds and all.

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In a small bowl I mix together 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1/2 cup of chicken stock and a splash of red wine. I make sure the tomatoes and beef are completely mixed together before gently pouring the tomato paste mixture over the top. I mix all of this through carefully and bring the pot to a boil. Once it is bubbling I reduce the heat to a simmer and push 2 bay leaves below the surface of the sauce. Then I just let it sit and simmer for 3 hours, sometimes longer. Yesterday I let is simmer for nearly 5 hours. The liquid will reduce and it becomes nice and thick. If you need to add more liquid put in some more tomato paste and chicken stock or even a splash more wine.

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Some alterations I make to this… well the wine is something I usually add in if Ihave a good red wine in the house. If it is just J. and I eating I will sometimes add some chillies to the garlic and onion mix. Other than that I stick with Mum’s recipe.

This is such a yummy bolognese sauce. It has a deep, rich flavor that works really well in lasagne but just as well with some linguine noodles. I actually froze a bunch of this for J. and I when we return from our Australian vacation, Tomato sauce.jpgso it is a great one to make big quantities of. I also like the left over spaghetti bolognese on a grilled sandwich the next day… yum!

I am lucky that my Mum instilled in me a love of cooking… now every major event in mine and J’s lives revolves around food… and for me anyway, wine. This is now one our recipes that we make to share with friends and family here.

Recipes that I am proud to pass on to friends, family and strangers that my mum gave to me, really are the best kind of recipe! I guess it is really a not so secret family recipe.