"Authentic" bolognese?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Ok so I used the dreaded word, authentic.  I do hate the word authentic and never paid much mind to it.  I make a killer meat ragu with beef and will continue to do so because it's my family's favorite.  When I gave birth to my son more than just a couple of people said "lucky kid, he's gonna grow up eating your spaghetti w/ meat sauce!" 

    But I was thinking of trying another recipe, especially after I watched the Bolognese episode of "Around the world in 80 days" and heard that nice Italian chef advise the contestants that bolognese is made strictly with pork.  Really?  I can't find a recipe anywhere that uses just pork.
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Authentic to me means at the end  finished off with heavy cream. Like more  towards the French border of Italy at least thats the way I had it prepared there  in a few places, as well as in America but in finer upscale places
     
  3. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Miss KK, I'd love to watch that program
    What network was that on?
     
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The most important takeaway and thing to remember from that show about "authentic Bolognesa" in Bologna is that everyone makes theirs differently -- no two alike.  The chef who said "all pork" used ground pork and -- printed recipe or no printed recipe -- there's no reason you couldn't make one without beef.

    I finish mine with a little cream too; but it ain't no thing.  Linda makes hers with chicken, beef, a smoked pork chop, no dairy and it's delicious.

    First rule of Italian cooking:  Don't overthink.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  5. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Okey-dokey
    I do know how to use a computer .... Dooh!
    I did a google search and found it
    I totally forgot to put that into my DVR to start recording it when they first started the promos for that show...
    Love Curtis ;) ;)
    And Cat Cora loves great
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    To me, one of the things that differentiates Bolognese from other ragus is the use of dairy.
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    2nd rule "Get it right"  Never had it there where heavy cream was not added at end . In fact in one place they brought out a small pitcher with warm very heavy cream with it
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    You got that right. All the rest are Ragu's of soughts
     
  9. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Bolognese is also a "ragu of sorts," specifically, ragu alla bolognese

    To my mind what makes it characteristically Bolognese is the concentration of meat flavor, the use of carrot, the relative roles of stock, wine and tomato (tomato should be restrained), and the absence of most herbs and garlic (or at most their very limited presence). 

    However, opinions vary and there are lots of options.   As it happens I use a little milk during the cooking and sometimes finish with cream.  That's one "traditional" of making it but not the only one.  For instance, I usually include at least one smoked pork "product" (could be bacon, pork chop, neck and/or hock) -- "traditional" but not necessary.

    It's a mistake to insist on too much ideological purity with ragu alla bolognese; neither the real history, not the variety of presentations in Bologna, nor the Accademia Italiana della Cucina will allow for it.   And, whether or not you never had it without a heavy cream finish, the Accademia's own recipe uses milk as one of the sauce ingredients) but doesn't include cream at all.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    I use pancetta to get started, and quite a lot of milk, but no cream. Very little tomato paste. I also like to use red wine, although I believe having heard a couple of time that the "authentic recipe" was with white wine. I don't use stock, although I'm sure it's also delicious with it. 

    But the main meat in my ragu bolognese is either skirt steak or flank steak, hand chopped (a bit time consuming but it makes all the difference IMO). 

    BTW not claiming that any of these ideas are any more authentic than any others. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    I like to use that ragu on spaghettis (which is apparently not authentic at all), and for lasagna (with bechamel). 
     
  11. durangojo

    durangojo

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    i don't know from 'authentic'...i just know how i do it...i just made a 5 gallon batch a few days ago so i won't go into amounts but i can tell you some of what i did. i sauteed carrots( they add sweetness), celery, onion, pancetta, and garlic,after cooked down a bit added  ground beef, ground pork, and ground spicy italian sausage...last was the ground veal, then milk, and chix stock...fireroasted tomatoes were blended first, thyme was the primary herb along with parsley...s&p of sourse.....let the whole thing simmer for about 2 1/2 hours, skimmed off the fat added just a bit of cream. i'm sure why but i added ground cinnamon.....just seems like it needed it....also just a bit of red pepper flakes and some dried roasted garlic flakes before the long simmer......didn't add wine which is really unusual for me...i didn't have any cooking white and didn't want to add red...maybe on the reheat.....will reheat to order, adjust s&p if need be and maybe add a touch of milk as well...will have to see...anyway, that's my version. i will also blend up more fireroasted tomatoes to add if i need to....

    joey
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  12. ordo

    ordo

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    Spectacular. I buy this Bolognesa. Specially for the 2 1/2 hours.

    Take care with the cinnamon. Should be subtle as a magician trick.

    And reheat, reheat!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  13. durangojo

    durangojo

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    yes ordo, i am very careful with the cinnamon...just enough to bring it all together and say hmmmm....my heritage is sicilian so when i use tomatoes in something, it's almost automatic that i add cinnamon.....i didn't say this in my post, but i did a reheat the next day to adjust the seasonings and skim off more fat......should be good to go, but i do like to cover my bases with having the extra tomatoes and the possible milk addition.....salud!

    joey
     
  14. romanas

    romanas

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    When it comes to bolognese, it's very easy to point to "authentic" recipe. Obviously, this is the one officially approved and being guarded by Chamber of Commerce of Bologna (Camera di Commercio di Bologna). :)

    Well, at least that's what people from Bologna say.

    But I have to say, when I was in Bologna, I didn't see no one chef cooking with full accordance to this "officially authentic" recipe. :)

    ps. btw, there is a good way to make Italian laughing. Just say "spaghetti bolognese". :)

    pps. Yeah, right. This is a link to "officially authentic" bolognese: http://www.tagliatellatour.it/la-tagliatella/ . It's in Italian but can be easily translated with google translator.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Nor did I but I always saw milk or cream used.  (even when I ha it in Naples and Sorrento)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  16. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Ok then, I'll just make it up.  Onion, carrot, celery.  Ground pork.  No garlic.  Tomato paste.  White wine, and stock (chicken?).  Simmer for 4 hrs.  Finish with milk.  No herbs.
     
  17. french fries

    french fries

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    FWIW I don't "finish" with milk, I use it very early in the cooking process, it helps break down the meat. As the sauce dries out during cooking I add a bit more milk, and a bit more, and a bit more... 

    2.5 Hr sounds about right. 
     
  18. siduri

    siduri

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    I think I posted the recipe for the recipe of the Confraternity of the Tortellino (yes, i'm serious) registered with the camera di commercio for  Ragu' Bolognese - look that up (use google, put - siduri "ragu bolognese" - into the google search function.  Don't use the cheftalk search function or you'll get a thousand recipes for each term 

    I wouldn't be surprised if they try to get it protected by UNESCO as part of the cultural heritage of humanity!  You don't have to make it that way but that's the recipe that was registered and it's actually quite good, and if you're looking for "authenticity" that would probably qualify.  And it does sound like they use that cut of meat, Frenchfries, the cartella, and very little tomato paste.  .
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It's been a while but I finally made the authentic bolognese.  I used ground pork shoulder, onion, carrot, garlic, white wine, tomato paste and a cup of milk to start off with.  I broke down and added a cup of tomato sauce because I was not liking the pale brown color of the sauce but it didn't help much.  I finished with a cup of half and half at the end and served it with shells.  It wasn't bad, hubby liked it.  But it wasn't exciting and I'm not likely to make it again.  I'm usually a big fan of pork but I simply could not get it to brown for some reason, it kept releasing liquid.  I finally gave up and went on with making the sauce which I'm willing to bet had a little to do with the end result lacking depth.  Overall the sauce was a little bland and I kept adding cheese to my dish to make up for it. 

    Maybe I'm just stuck in my ways but I simply love my own meat sauce made with ground beef chuck, plenty of garlic and onions, tomato sauce and paste, chili flakes and cloves and sometimes even a green bell pepper chopped too finely for hubby to know it's there hehe. 

    What to do with a big bowl of left over bolognese?  Any ideas?
     
  20. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    use it as a base for lasagna or stuffed shells. Or a gnocchi baked casserole.

    I'd think you could use some of it thinned out with some stock and lots of vegetables as part of a soup.

    I'd enjoy some on some crusty bread as a dressing for a sandwich.

    Take some of the leftover pasta and sauce and make a frittata.