Bolognese (bowl-awg-nayz) sauce is a slow braised beef and tomato sauce that differs from your typical 'meat and red sauce' because it includes a soffritto (mirepoix in french) or Italian for celery, onion & carrot. In reality the prototypical 'meat and red sauce' is the bastardization of traditional ragù sauces. The same sauce where most home cooks merely add ground hamburger meat to their favorite jarred sauce and post it to IG like they did something innovative. I am sure a hardcore olive skinned Goombah will say this recipe is the creation of some freckle-faced potato eating mick and they might be right. To avoid that I've stuck with all of the major ingredients seen in a traditional recipe.
Instead of using ground beef which is taken mostly from chuck, the upper front leg/shoulder of a cow, we will move south to the lower front leg also knows as the brisket. Chuck is a tough cut of meat, full of flavor, connective tissue and not a lot of fat which doesn't do great in a braise (see your mom's pot roast). Brisket is a tough cut of meat but tenderizes nicely during low and slow cooking due to a high fat content which work especially well in a braise.
If you remember back to when we cut the tip off the whole brisket slab and braised it, we continue from there after a night in the oven...
Doo-da-looo doo-da-looo doo-da-looo doo-da-looo
After a night in the over your brisket should be mostly whole, minus a few stragglers that may have shaken loose. Separate the meat from the braising liquid and shred the shit out of it with a few forks, maybe a tong or your roommate's vibrating kitchen wand you found in his sock drawer.
Don't drop that shit... keep that braising liquid and don't clean the pan! This pot has all that glorious brisket fat that cooked out and hours of flavor that hard working American's would pay good money to buy in a jar. Strain off the solids, if you don't have a sieve you can always use a pasta strainer and repeat the process multiple times until you get a very thin liquid.
Set in the refrigerator until fat solidifies, remove that fat and save it for future use. We are not going to use all of the fat but this is a good substitute for oil or butter, keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to ten days.
- (4) cups braising liquid
- 3-4 pounds cooked brisket
- (1) 28oz. can of tomato puree
- 6oz. red wine
- (1) medium red onion
- (4) small celery stalks
- (2) medium carrot, peeled
- (3) cloves garlic
- (1) handful of parsley leaves
- (4-5) sprigs of rosemary
- (2) tbs tomato paste
- (1) 28oz. can of whole tomatoes
I grated the carrots and celery because I am actually don't like the texture of mushy carrots or celery, so cutting them as small as possible almost guarantees the essentially liquefy in the sauce. Cut these vegetable however large or small you desire.
Add a tablespoon of your leftover fat (or oil if you have reservations about using fat) sautée your ingredients down for about 5 minutes until tender. Add in the garlic in about halfway through cooking the other vegetables to avoid burning.
After documenting all my cooking escapades I have realized how much tomato paste I use and it's troubling. Mix it in until everything has coated, keep it moving to avoid burning without turning down the heat.
De-glaze your pan with the glass of red wine and scrape all the braising bits away from the pan. After you have cooked down the wine by half, add in your braising liquid.
At this point add in your tomatoes and herbs. For any red sauce I always use an equal ratio of tomato puree to whole tomatoes, why you ask? Control baby. Control the thickness of the sauce by hand crushing your tomatoes, and if you want your sauce lowkey thicc keep them mostly whole with just a lil' squeeze.
Meat meet pot, pot meet meat. Say that five times fast...