DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THE INGREDIENTS LIST! Yes, there are lots of them but you can make a real difference to your own tried and tested Bolognese sauce just by cooking the mince in white wine, and adding the chocolate, raisins and toasted pine nuts at the end. But if you can get some venison, oxtail or even hare, you’ll find it amazing when cooked like this.
- 1 onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500-650g diced stewing venison
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 350ml/1 3/4 cups dry white wine
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 50g/ 1/3 cup toasted pinenuts
- 50g/ 1/3 cup raisins
- 25g dark bitter chocolate
- Chopped parsley to garnish
- Prepare the vegetables, finely chopping the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Chop the bacon too.
- Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish, add the onion, carrot, celery and bacon, cover and cook slowly for 5-6 minutes, stirring once. Add the venison and herbs and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the wine, tomato purée and seasonings, and a little water or stock, if necessary, to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 1 ½ hours. Alternatively, cook in a slow oven at gas mark 3, 160℃, 325℉ for 3 hours, or in the Simmering Oven of an Aga.
- Return the casserole to the hob and add the pinenuts, raisins and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper, then garnish with parsley before serving.
Cook’s tip: If you have some meat on the bone as I did in Bite Sized Video #5, you’ll need a double lot of the veg. Make a bed of them in a roasting tin or covered skillet, add the meat on top and about 350ml/1 3/4 cups of water and slow roast the meat until tender. Take it from the bone and reduce the cooking liquor. Then add fresh veg to those in the tin or pan and carry on as above. You can reduce the cooking time to about an hour.
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