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I got the urge to do a 'proper' Bolognese sauce this week. I have a conf call at 7pm every Monday so Monday tends to be slow cooking day. I say 'proper' because, of course, no two people agree on what a proper Bolognese sauce is but in general what I wanted wasn't the normal "brown some mince, stick in a pot of Dolmio et voila" type of thing. In general a proper sauce, as I understand it, should have two types of meat (ground pork and ground veal) and should also arguably have milk in it. I used this recipe as a base http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/getrecipe.zsp?id=30991 laregly because it fitted in with what I had in my head and also because I'd just seen him win Iron Chef the night before (now *that's* a bizarre program). It turned out really well and the last of it was especially good for lunch today - the couple of extra days in the fridge really helped the flavours. I made a mistake in chopping the vegetables for the sofritos too big but that wasn't a major problem. I also cooked it a lot longer than an hour. I think I did an hour or so with the lid off and then another hour or so on a really low heat with the lid on. I also didn't brown the meats together isntead doing the beef (I couldn't find veal) on its own and the pancetta and the pork together. I skimmed the liquid off both times to make sure they browned not stewed. A word on the meats. I know everyone always says this but it's really worht getting the best quality stuff possible for this. Also the pancetta or bacon needs to be really, really smoky, streaky and in thick chunks. Water filled unsmoked back bacon won't cut it. When we ate it immediately after it had been cooking it was a touch greasy. By today it wasn't as noticeable but I'd be mildly tempted to try cutting the sauce with a brief squeeze of lemon or maybe a splash of cider vinegar. All in all, well worth the effort and that recipe will easily feed four, possibly even 5 or 6.
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