Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Aussie classic for my french family

Who doesn’t have their own version of Bolognese? Well, I have several. Every time I make it, it changes but no matter what’s different, one thing is for sure - it always tastes delicious!
I was tossing up whether to do a post on this Bolognese, was it my best one yet? Probably not!
But when I returned home this afternoon there in my inbox was an email from my Uncle Kiki (my mother’s brother).I love receiving emails from my uncle, he lives in Paris and he is so very sweet — his English, I think is very good and the fact that he writes to me in English is in itself very clever(I couldn’t even attempt writing to him in French). Anyway in his email today he said he had read my blog and loved it.  

This put an enormous smile on my face and when he relayed a story about how he tried to cook my mother a lasagna when she visited him not long ago, and failed and then had seen my beetroot lasagna on my blog, I thought,“I’m cooking Bolognese why not make a lasagna and photograph it especially for him”.
So Uncle Kiki this is for you, cook it and think of me (and send me a photo) – I love you and we are going to visit you really soon.
Michelle x
My Bolognese (this time)
You’ll need:
1kg minced beef or ½kg beef ½kg pork
olive oil
2 medium carrots — peeled and chopped finely (or whizzed in a food processor)
Either the celery heart or 2 stalks of celery (minus the leaves) — cut the same as the carrot
1 onion — chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic – chopped finely
*You can whizz all of this in a food processor if you can't be bothered chopping
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
½ cup of flat leaf parsley chopped finely (optional)
1 cup of wine — red or white is fine
4 tins of chopped tomatoes (I used 3 but I wish I’d used 4)
1 small tin of tomato paste
8 cloves
salt and pepper
a little sugar if needed
a I like to add 1 cup of milk
How I cooked it:
In your Le Creuset(size 26) heat the oil and fry off the onions first till they just start to colour, then add garlic, celery, carrot, bay, cloves and rosemary and cook till they begin to smell delicious
Add your meat and make sure you brake it down with your wooden spoon until there are no clumps
Brown the meat along with the vegies and make sure to season well
Add your tin of tomato paste and mix and cook for a couple of minutes
Then in goes the wine (make sure the alcohol smell is cooked off before adding the tomatoes)
In the tomatoes go, stir well pop the lid on and either cook on lowest heat on the stove for a couple of hours, or do as I do, and stick your pot in a low oven (150c) for 2-3hours checking and stirring every now and then 
Serve with pasta of choice and lashings of Parmesan

Or make Lasagna

How I made mine:
This will serve 10 people — preheat the oven to 180c fan forced and make sure to pop the lasagna on the middle rack
I used 1½ litres of Bolognese sauce
 and warmed it up on the stove whilst I prepared everything else
 1 box of Organic dried lasagna sheets or fresh (depending on what is available — remember to adjust cooking time if you use fresh pasta)
Make a béchamel sauce
Delia has a good one here
I made mine up - 
I used 100g salted butter
80g organic flour
1 litre of Unhomogenised Milk
a fresh grating of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Melted the butter
added the flour and cooked it off for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly
Then slowly added the milk with a whisk - making sure to get all the clumps out
Then cooked it till it came almost to the boil, then turned the heat down and cooked till thick and creamy
season with the nutmeg,salt and pepper
Mozzarella – grated (or fresh buffalo mozzarella)
Parmesan cheese
Have everything on the table ready to assemble your masterpiece
This is the order it’s done (you can always follow my pictures)
The first time I  used a few different sized dishes (only because I was delivering to friends — you’ll have to break up your lasagna sheets to fit smaller dishes)
1 For the this one above I used a large baking dish which measured 30cm x 22cm 
  To ensemble:
   Meat sauce first - a couple of ladles
Sprinkle with a little mozzarella and Parmesan
(a handful)
A small amount of béchamel
(a small ladle full)
Layer of pasta
This is my small dish
repeat until you are just about to the top and have put the last layer of pasta
This is my large dish
then I had a tiny bit of sauce left so I dotted this on the top and put the remaining mozzarella and then covered it with lots of béchamel and sprinkled with Parmesan

Pop it in the oven and cook (covered with greaseproof paper and foil if you used dried pasta) for 20 min then uncovered until browning, bubbling and crispy on top(another 20-30min)
If you use fresh pasta there is no need to cover just cook until its until browning, bubbling and crispy on top.
Let it rest for 5 min then serve with green salad
As you can see I made this twice.
And Uncle Kiki, I am not the boss of  organisation, actually just the opposite (very disorganised) somehow I fluke getting all my recipes shot and written down. I guess it’s just that I love it so much that it all just falls together by itself.
Love you, Rosette and the Kids and hope to see you by the end of next year. x
p.s and now I have a a language converter on my blog so my family in France and Germany can read it.
Photo's of France courtesy of my uncle kiki all other photo's and recipes by me - ©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

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