This recipe is a combination of a Jamie Oliver and The Good Food Guide recipe. It’s great to freeze. Each spaghetti has it’s own instructions, but I think fresh is best (way better), with salt and olive oil added to the pan. If you cook too much spaghetti, don’t feel like you should serve it all, as you’ll diminish the amazing taste of the bolognese. Plate what you need, not what you greed! Garnish with parmesan or mozzarella (there are no rules).
Replacements: If I don’t have red onion, shallots will do. If I don’t have port, I make up the liquid with more red wine. If I don’t have fresh herbs, or garlic, I’ll use dried and guess. If I don’t have bacon, find something else salty. I don’t use any added salt in this recipe because of the bacon. It’s actually hard to get this wrong.
When I say splashes of Worcestershire sauce, I mean, it’s one of those bottles you can pop open and shake towards your pan to get the contents out. So it’s not an accurate measurement.
I’ve got proportions listed for 6 and 4 servings. If cooking the larger of the two, unless you have the world’s biggest pan, you’ll have to cook off the beef in batches.
For 6 servings you will need at least a 25cm wide, by 12cm tall non stick pan with a lid. And of course, another pan for the spaghetti, if you intend to eat the same day (not recommended, it tastes much better if left in the fridge for a day).
tbsp = table spoon (15ml). tsp = tea spoon (5ml)
If you wish your bolognese to be more meaty, then add 25%-50% more beef. It’s ok if you have a 750g packet for 6 or a 500g packet for 4. Don’t worry.
Let me know if you like it. I’ve been told adding some dark chocolate can make it even better, or god help me, ketchup!
|Ingredient||Serves 6||Serves 4|
|Medium Red Onions||2||1.5|
|Garlic cloves – finely chopped||2||1.5|
|Oregano – dried||2tsp||1.5 tsp|
|Black pepper||1/2 tsp+||less than 1/2 tsp|
|Worcestershire sauce||4 splashes||2-3 splashes|
|Diced carrots||4 medium||2-3 medium|
|Rosemary sprigs||3 (or 1tsp dried)||2 (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)|
|Smoky Bacon rashers – diced||4||2.5|
|Tinned chopped tomatoes||1000g||660g|
|Beef stock cube||1||1/2|
- Dice the onions and garlic – place in a bowl to one side. (Bowl 1)
- Put the pepper, rosemary, paprika, oregano and pepper in a bowl to one side. (Bowl 2)
- Dice the carrots, place in a bowl to the side.
- In a measuring jug, add the wine, port, stock cube, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar and mix together.
- Finally, cut the bacon and leave on the chopping board.
- Heat a large pan and fry the bacon until it’s cooked but not crispy – if not too hot, the fat from the bacon should be enough for the next step.
- Add the onions and garlic, fry until translucent.
- Now add the beef, and all the herbs from Bowl1 evenly, and fry until the beef is brown, but don’t overcook.
- Turn the heat down, add the tomato puree and quickly mix into the beef so it’s spread around evenly, followed by the chopped tomatoes. Mix it in, then bring to a a simmer.
- Now add the wine mix, stir in.
- Add the bay leaves.
- Partially cover and simmer for 20-30m stirring occasionally, and taste half way to make sure it’s seasoned well, and add more salt/pepper if required (I’ve never had to). If it’s looking too dry, keep the lid on, maybe add some wine+water mix or some more tomato juice, if it’s too runny, keep the lid off.
- Leave to cool for an hour.
- Decant into Tupperware into sensible portions for refrigeration or freezing.
- Leave to cool some more before transferring to the fridge or freezer.
- Eat the next day (remove the bay leaves!).
- To defrost leave in a fridge at least 24 hours beforehand.
- To reheat – gently simmer for 5-10 minutes until piping hot.