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Old 06-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Marinara Cooking Technique

This isn't about the ingredients of a good marinara sauce. Rather, it's about a technique that just plain delivers.

my last batch of sauce contained the usual suspects, diced tomato, tomato puree, fresh garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, onion, and ground beef, with a little salt, and a tsp. of sugar. What made this different was that I had limited time to prepare it. I couldn't use my usual favorite technique of cooking for 30 minutes, then refrigerating overnight, or the lauded slow cooking for hours. So, I turned once again to that marvelous creation, the pressure cooker. After browning the ground beef, adding all the other ingredients, and seasoning to what I like, I put the lid on and brought it up to 11.5 pounds of pressure. I cooked it at the lowest possible heat to keep the pressure regulator dancing for 20 minutes. The sauce tasted like it had been cooked for 6 to 7 hours. it was so good.

The leftover sauce was again thrown into the pressure cooker, with a cup of extra water, some roughly sliced cabbage leaves, and a quarter cup of rice. 20 minutes gave me my lunch today, a desconstructed cabbage role that tastes just like the version that takes an 90 minutes to create in the oven. Of course it wasn't as pretty, but for a lunch that's gonna be heated in a microwave, the flavor is identical.

Yep, I still love my P.C. It make great food in a fraction of the time used for other methods.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 06-23-2014, 01:08 PM   #2
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The PC can really shorten cooking times. I haven't used one in decades. Maybe I should give it some thought.

On another note, I'm not used to seeing meat in a marinara sauce.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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I never add meat to a marinara sauce.
Its a mother sauce.

I go easy on the herbs too. Since i am eventually going to make another dish with the marinara, I want a sauce that is accepting of more ingredients.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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No meat here either, but I do like red wine and the "bite" of some red pepper flakes in marinara. I usually make marinara specifically as opposed to making it from my mother sauce.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:56 PM   #5
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No meat in my marinara either, and the only seasonings are salt, pepper, and onion. Oregano doesn't belong in spaghetti sauce, it's for pizza.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
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Marinara sauce is always meatless.
However, Marinara sauce can be used to make a meat sauce, but then it's no longer Marinara.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:17 PM   #7
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I agree with Andy, I need to give the modern pressure cookers a fresh look.

If I need to make a quick meat sauce I use most of the ingredients in your basic recipe and then toss in a small can of tomato paste and some homemade beef or chicken stock. The addition of a cup or two of stock gives it that long simmered Sunday gravy taste. Dried mushrooms can also give a big flavor boost to a quick meat sauce, just crumble them up and toss them in the pot.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
No meat in my marinara either, and the only seasonings are salt, pepper, and onion. Oregano doesn't belong in spaghetti sauce, it's for pizza.
Umm, You've said that several times now, but oregano belongs my spaghetti sauce, if not yours.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Marinara sauce is always meatless.
However, Marinara sauce can be used to make a meat sauce, but then it's no longer Marinara.
Ditto.

Once meat becomes involved, it's a bolognese.

Marinara is always vegetarian.

Some sauces that are americanized, known in the North east as "Gravy" can have browned meats, but the meat is normally removed/reserved, but Americans will think of it as a "marinara", because it is tomato sauce over pasta.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:04 PM   #10
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The mother sauce Tomat, as per Escoffeir - How To Make Sauce Tomat | Stella Culinary

It's similar to Sunday Gravy in that it contains tomatoes.

I called my sauce by the wrong name. It's similar to the sauce my parents made. And I agree with Kayelle, oregano is used in my tomato sauce, and my pizza sauce. I also use it in various other dishes and recipes. I like the flavor it brings.

In any case, you can use whatever recipe you like for your sauce. I was simply pointing out that the PC cuts hours worth of simmering down to 30 minutes or so.

Oh, and just for the record, if I'm taking the time to make the sauce the way I really like it, it includes the ingredients I posted, and adds rosemary, sweet bell pepper chunks, and sauteed mushrooms (protabella, common field, or white button mushrooms thank you)

The sauce is cooked just long enough for me to taste all of the ingredients in the sauce, removed from the heat, quick chilled in an ice bath, then into a sealed container and into the fridge. This gives the sauce a fresher, brighter flavor. I'm not as fond of the long simmered, or baked sauces. The flavors lose their individuality in my opinion. I like to taste everything, and be able to pick out the flavors on my tongue, and in my nose. But it can't be too acidic either. I'm picky about how I make my best sauce. And I'm sure it wouldn't be the best sauce for many of you. But that's Ok. This world is big enough for each of our favorite flavors, and then some.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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