Monday, 29 July 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese (Spag Bog)

For some as-yet-undetermined reason, what the rest of the world shortens to 'spag bol', my family calls 'spag bog'. Fans of UK slang will understand why this is funny...

Second time round, I added courgette and some leftover mini corn...yum

There are a lot of recipes out there claiming to be the 'best' bolognese recipe, or that 'true' bolognese contains white wine, not red, etc. etc. Now, I don't know much about that. But what I do know is that bolognese is delicious. And great for making in a large batch and then freezing portions. I'm always flexible on the vegetable choice and tend to use up whatever I have left.

Ingredients:
1tbsp oil (olive is best but not compulsory)
1 medium brown onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
2 tins of tomatoes
Vegetables e.g. 3 chopped carrots, handful of mushrooms, handful of peas, 1 red/ orange/ green pepper, 2 celery sticks
1 pint of stock (beef or vegetable)
300g dried spaghetti/ other pasta

Optional extras:
4 rashers of streaky bacon, cooked and chopped up
1 glass of wine
Extra cherry tomatoes
1tbsp tomato puree
Herbs - basil, oregano, rosemary, mixed herbs
Parmesan gratings to finish

Serves 4-5

Method:
1) Heat the oil in a very large casserole dish or saucepan
2) Add the chopped onion and fry gently for 7 mins
3) Add the garlic and cook for 1 min
4) Tip in the mince, stir and cook - it will start to turn brown, then release water which you want to burn off. When the water and liquid is gone you will be left with the meat/onion/garlic mixture (add wine now if using, and boil off the ethanol). Boil the kettle to make the stock (fry the bacon if using)
5) Add the tinned tomatoes (and tomato puree if using)
6) Add all the vegetables (and cherry tomatoes and bacon if using)
7) Add the stock (and herbs if using)
8) Heat on the stove until it bubbles in the middle. I like to transfer it to the oven for about 45 mins at 150 deg C (make sure to check the liquid levels and add more stock if it is looking dry), but you can just leave it on low heat on the stove for about 30 mins
9) 15 mins before finishing, start boiling the water for the spaghetti. Cook the pasta for about 12 mins (see packet), then drain and serve

Budget:
Beef = £4 (less if you buy it on offer, e.g. 3 for £10)
Onion = 10p
Oil = 3p
Garlic = 5p
Tomatoes = 70p
Stock = 10p
Vegetables (depends on what you use) = 40p ish
Spaghetti = 60p
Total = £6, £1.20/ person