Tagliatelles à la Bolognaise

1 05 2008

Yeah, I spelled it the French way.  Luckily, when I was researching the dish, Google was quick to correct me and thus turn up many more articles than my original search provided.  After cross-referencing Cook’s Illustrated with several of Mario Batali’s recipes, I came up with my own French-ified version.  (As one of my old teachers used to say, “the Italians invented cooking, and the French made it better.”)

I started with some poitrine fumée from the butcher, cut it into small pieces, and put it in a Dutch oven over low heat along with a little olive oil and butter.  While it rendered, I harnessed my knife skills to cut onion, carrot, and celery into a small dice.  By this point the bacon was starting to crisp, so I added the mirepoix, salt, pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and fresh thyme.  I stirred it around and let the vegetables cook down until they were very soft and about half their original volume.

Good old mirepoix

Then I added ground beef (freshly ground to order by the butcher) and stirred constantly in order to break up the lumps of meat for an even-textured final result.

Beef for Bolognaise

When the beef was nicely crumbled and browned, I added some minced garlic, and then the long, slow simmering process began…

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