Thursday, February 2, 2017

Our Most Delicious Winter Tradition

Or: A bolognese recipe from your non-Italian non-Grandmother

My unmercifully handsome husband eating eggs and toast by candlelight last year

A few years ago I put in a stupid amount of much research into the “perfect” bolognese recipe. I watched how-to videos. I compared classic and lazy bolognese methods. I looked at maps of Bologna, Italy. Finally, this being a pre-Trump America, I thought about traveling to Italy instead of moving there forever.

I tinker with the recipe every time I make it, but I think this weekend's batch was our favorite so far. Anyway, I didn’t realize until now, but I have made bolognese every winter we’ve been married.

I save some of my favorite traditions for winter. All that darkness and (relative) cold can be a bummer, so I try to do things to make things more cozy. I light candles around the house at night and share way more candle-lit dinners. We usually have more movie nights and game nights. We break out the Martinelli’s more often and have special toasts at dessert. And I make bolognese.  I love bolognese.

Do you have any non-holiday, cozy, cold weather traditions? I would sincerely love to hear them.

b perry

1. Start with equal parts grated onion, celery, and carrot. I grate and measure the onion first since having leftover carrots and celery is not as stupid as having leftover onion. Two onions usually gives me about 1.5 cups. Crush four cloves garlic. Season with salt, and add a few glugs of olive oil. Cook over medium heat until it looks dry, smells crispy, and you see plenty of browning. This takes me about 20 minutes

2. Add two pounds ground beef, season, and brown. You can remove some fat as you cook. This takes about 20 or 30 minutes.

3. Add 2 cups tomato paste cook 5 or 6 minutes until it smells like the most delicious tomato garden. 

4. Add 2 cups grape juice and 1.5 cups chicken broth. Reduce by about half.

5. Add three cups water, and three bay leaves, bring to a boil. Simmer forever. Like three or four hours. As the sauce reduces, add water or juice to taste.

b perry

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