The secret to a fabulous Bolognese is time. And lots of it. But these days who has time to hover around a stewing pot for 6 hours, right? Kids, partners, work, family, all wanting a little piece of you.
This recipe saves you time without compromising on flavor. Let’s call it a cheeky cheat (in the most positive sense), shall we?
1 lbs (500gr) minced venison or beef (no more than 10% fat)
¼ tsp. rosemary
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
½ a red onion
freshly ground black pepper.
½ a lemon
300ml red cooking wine
200ml beef stock or water
fresh basil leaves for decoration.
Using a large pot fry the garlic and onions in olive oil until golden brown. Add the rosemary, sesame seeds and spices and continue frying for 1min.
Add the mushrooms and venison mince, separating the meat as it browns.
Now add the wine and stock/ water to the pot, cover, and turn the heat up high for 20mins.
Remove the lid, turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour or until most of liquid has reduced. Only now taste and season with salt and pepper.
Remember: the longer it cooks the better it tastes, but PLEASE don’t let it dry out completely or it will burn.
If you want to impress your guests and go for the long haul you must keep adding liquid, stirring at least once every 30mins.
Gnocci is of course best hand made but takes such effort. I buy it. Nothing wrong with that.
Add the gnocci to rapidly boiling, salted water. It takes about 3mins. They will all sink to the bottom and the moment they rise to the top they are done. Serve immediately.
I prefer the fresh lime zest on top of the gnocci with a slash of olive oil and some pepper. The zest cuts the richness of the meat and freshens up the dish beautifully.
Garnish with fresh basil.
It’s important to remember that the spices are not at all prominent and adds an incredible depth to the dish, but if you’re not a fan of to much flavor (or don’t have these spices in the cupboard) it’s perfectly all right to leave it out. That also goes for the rosemary actually.
Traditionally no tomatoes are required for Bolognese, but then again neither are any spices. 1tbl spoons of tomato puree, or 2 whole tomatoes can be added for a more kiddie friendly meal.
The alcohol in the wine cooks away in minutes so you don’t have to worry about the kids or sober guests, although I always do mention it as a courtesy.
Bolognese can be done up to 2 days in advance, made in bulk and it freezes beautifully.
Remember: when you reheating it, do so on a low heat with splash of water or it will burn and never ever in a microwave.
Gnocci must be served immediate, but a drizzle of olive oil over it straight after straining will stop it from sticking together too much and wins you a couple of minutes.