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Old 04-13-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
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?? about spaghetti meat sauce....

I have noticed that when I have this in restaurants, the meat part is very soft. Perhaps they boiled the ground meat in the tomatoes? I usually fry the meat first.

Does anyone here NOT fry their meat before adding tomatoes and such? Do you like the texture?

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Old 04-13-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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I brown the meat in the skillet first then add the tomato sauce and cook it just enough to heat the sauce. I'm not sure how they do it in bulk in the restaurants.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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The meat in restaurant sauces is browned in a skillet. It's just that the sauce is made in large batches, and usually done before noon. The meat sits in the sauce and continues to cook until it's taken off before the restaurant closes. If there is enough left, it's refrigerated and used to either make another dish, or added to the next day's batch. The meat becomes soft because it cooks so long in the sauce. Meat can also be soft if fillers are added to it, such as breadcrumbs, grated cheese, flour, or minced veggies.

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Old 04-13-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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I fry the meat and any added vegetables until the meat is no longer pink then I add the tomatoes.

I really do not care for meat sauce unless it is used in a dish like lasagna or baked ziti. If I am making sauce to go over pasta I prefer meatballs or chunks of stew beef that has been cooked low and slow until it is tender.

I have seen some classic Italian recipes where the ground beef is cooked and repeatedly mashed with a spoon so it has almost no texture. I suppose that does release the most flavor from the meat but, I prefer to see some chunks of ground beef crumbles scattered about in the sauce.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #5
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I always brown meats before adding them to tomato sauce. The deep rich browning adds flavor to the sauce.

I also deglaze the pan I browned the meat in with some of the sauce to get all the fond from the pan. After adding the meat, I simmer the sauce for an a couple of hours to extract meat flavors into the sauce.

Your sauce will always taste better adding cooked meats vs. raw.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I always brown meats before adding them to tomato sauce. The deep rich browning adds flavor to the sauce.

I also deglaze the pan I browned the meat in with some of the sauce to get all the fond from the pan. After adding the meat, I simmer the sauce for an a couple of hours to extract meat flavors into the sauce.

Your sauce will always taste better adding cooked meats vs. raw.
Andy, I put a small amount of water in one of the tomato cans, swish it around to get all the tomato and then deglaze the meat pan.I usually use the tomato paste can. That is the hardest one to get the last drop from. The water helps.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Andy, I put a small amount of water in one of the tomato cans, swish it around to get all the tomato and then deglaze the meat pan.I usually use the tomato paste can. That is the hardest one to get the last drop from. The water helps.
I do the same thing with a little red wine!
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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I do the same thing with a little red wine!
I use wine to rinse out the cans too.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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I've found that when I add the tomatoes it deglazes the pan. There's enough juice in the brands I use. But that's not to say I haven't used wine at times either I've even used a little beef stock. It adds a nice depth to the sauce, much like precooking your meats does.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:18 PM   #10
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I brown the meat in the skillet first then add the tomato sauce and cook it just enough to heat the sauce. I'm not sure how they do it in bulk in the restaurants.
This is what I do too. I prefer the meat to not be "mushy."

Course, I haven't used meat in spaghetti in a long time. My daughter prefers a veggie-full spaghetti, so I saute (sp?) veggies and just heat the sauce in a pan. I don't mix it all together until I'm preparing the leftovers for my lunches that week.
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