Mark Twain…“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.”
Again I’m in the mood for a good Bolognese sauce and the Instant Pot sure makes short work of it, but which recipe would I land??? Since this week is another Ruth Reichl assignment and my favorite bolognese sauce has always been Marcella Hazan’s and as things go in cooking the 2 recipes are so much alike, with just a slight variation, 1 uses vegetable oil and the other has garlic…hmmm. Now to toss in a little bit of change, using small diced chuck instead of ground meat since I discovered a good Instant Pot time guideline, “Beef (pot roast, steak, rump, round, chunk blade or brisket, small chunks 15-20 minutes per pound” and the link to the site that I scoped out is below. Yes, it took a bit of time to cut the beef and cube it, but I was anxious to try a chunkier bolognese.
Now in the past, I have discovered that using the pressure cooker for sauces that require long cooking times for a deep flavor is sometimes lost, but a few simple tricks can boost that beefy flavor for bolognese, 1 pod of Knorr concentrated stock, a few herbs, and 2 tablespoons of good tomato paste seemed to work for me in the flavor department, at least they did this time.
I treated this version of bolognese very much like I do my homemade chili, small diced beef for me and some ground chuck for Mike, makes both of us happy and this time I had about 2 3/4 pounds of beef, pork, and veal mix. Another thing to pay attention to are the liquid amounts that you add to the pot and in this case, less is better, I kept the 28 ounces of canned San Marzano tomatoes for the amount of meat and veggies in the pot, instead of milk, I added heavy cream. Poke around the internet for a chart to refer to, below is a sample link.
The Instant Pot version took 25 minutes under high pressure once everything was sautéed, brought up to the just about ready to boil temperature, shut off sauté, shut off keep warm and place the lid on the pot, close vent valve, set manually to high pressure for 23 minutes, release pressure manually. If the sauce is too thin, simmer for a few minutes if necessary…Serve over fettuccine, pass the cheese and red pepper flakes if you like or make Lasagna Bolognese…
Happy New Year!
Bolognese Sauce from The Gourmet Cookbook, page 221, slightly adapted Standard Stove-top version
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces diced pancetta
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound ground beef, pork, veal or a combination of the three (I used beef) I had about 2 2/4 of meat mix in the pot)
1 cup whole milk ( I used heavy cream)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup dry white wine ( I like red wine better in a Bolognese sauce)
1 (28 ounces) can tomatoes, diced or whole or whatever
1 pound dried pasta
Heat oil and butter in a 6 to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides (if using pancetta, saute it for about 4 minutes). Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add meat and cook, stirring until meat is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cook, stirring until most of the milk has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
Coarsely puree tomatoes, with their juice, in a blender or food processor. Stir tomatoes into the pot. Cook sauce at a bare simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 1-/4 hours (sauce will thicken). Season with salt and pepper.
When the sauce is almost done, cook pasta in a 6 to 8-ounce quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt per every four quarts water, not to be specific or anything) until al dente; drain.
Immediately toss pasta with sauce in a large bowl. Serve with cheese.