Best Bolognese Sauce.
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Ingredients: 1 red pepper, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 6 mushrooms, 1 clove garlic, 500g lean minced beef, 2 rashers bacon (optional) 2 x 5ml spoons mixed herbs, 1 x 15ml spoon tomato puree, 400g can tomatoes, 125 – 250ml stock, 1 x 15ml spoon oil. For a vegetarian version use 400g can brown lentils or aduki beans instead of meat.
1. Peel onion. Make a bridge with your hand and cut the onion in half. Put the flat sides down on the board.
2. Hold the onion firmly, with your hand like a claw. Slice across without cutting through the root.
3. Turn the onion round and still holding it like a claw, slice in the other direction.
4. Peel the carrot away from you and cut off the top and bottom. Some carrots may only need scraping.
5. Cut the carrot in half and stand each half on end. Cut down in a criss-cross pattern.
9. Cut down the side of the pepper and open it up into a long strip. Remove any seeds and the white fibrous strips.
10. Stack two or three pieces of pepper on top of each other and cut into strips.
12. Remove the papery skin from the garlic. The prepared vegetables should now look something like this.
17. Cut the bacon into pieces – scissors are best for this, and add to the pan. Stir well and fry gently over a medium heat.
18. After about 5 minutes, the meat should have started to brown and will have lost its raw appearance.
19. Add the carrot, red pepper and mushrooms and mix well. Continue frying for a further 5 minutes.
23. Dissolve a stock cube in 250ml boiling water. Add just over half of it to the pan. Keep the rest in case you need it later.
25. Put a lid on the pan and allow to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if needed.
26. At the end of cooking, the meat and vegetables should be tender and have a rich colour and thick texture. Bolognese sauce is very versatile and can be made into a wide variety of dishes egs served with spaghetti, rice or in Lasagne or Boboti.