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Old 04-08-2007, 08:19 AM   #1
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Mince is always tough in spaghetti bolognese?

Hiya,

This is my first post and I'm after a little bit of advice with regards to spaghetti bolognese. I'm generally good at following recipes and cooking in general but I just can't get this right no matter what I follow.

Basically, without other ingredients to confuse this is the basis of what I do:


>> Put quantity of mince into frying pan
>> Fry until the texture of the mince is 'crumbly' (no oil/wine etc added - just fried dry) - usually 6-10mins
>> Add to saucepan with a jar of say Dolmio/Ragu
>> Simmer for 15-20 minutes to serve.

But always, ALWAYS the mince tastes tough - recently a friend cooked it though and it was gorgeous; don't know how she did it but it was really soft and nice.

I did ask, and she said she used wine; logic would say just fry it less but I'm really worried I won't cook it thoroughly and poison my date

Thanks for any advice

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:24 AM   #2
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Don't worry about under cooking that meat. Even if you did not fry it in the pan first and just put it into the sauce to simmer for 15-20 while it was raw, it would still be cooked all the way through by the time you were done.

I would recommend frying it for less time and see if that helps.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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Hi, I've just had a look at Delia Smith's website to see how long she cooks her bolognese sauce for - 3 to 4 hours! This BBC recipe is a bit shorter and not too difficult to make. But they still allow it to bubble away for significantly longer than you.

BBC - Food - Recipes - Spaghetti Bolognese

Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:06 AM   #4
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I cook mine for hours as well.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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Well your friend probably spends more than 20-30 minutes on it... you typically simmer a bolognese for at least a couple of hours...This will give you a better texture...

Also, If the meat is cooking over medium / medium high heat, i don't see why it would ever take up to 10 minutes...Should brown really fast, couple minutes max.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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Hmmm, thanks for the replies- I do have the time to simmer it for hours if I have to.

It appears then that it's tough because I'm not cooking it long enough? And by simmering it in the sauce for a couple of hours it will make it softer as it absrobs sauce/moisture?

Sound like I have it right?
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:28 AM   #7
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You're over-cooking your ground meat. You just want to barely get the pink out of it.
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:37 AM   #8
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lachesis - two things

" It appears then that it's tough because I'm not cooking it long enough?"

-that is one reason..the other is you are possibly over cooking the meat in the skillet to begin with.


also, If you just attempt to simmer sauce for a few hours straight out of a jar it may get too thick and nasty.

real bolognese sauce was the first thing i ever came to this forum looking for ideas on.

If you get a couple of cans of good whole tomatoes, and crush them by hand and cook them in their juice with your meat, you will allow the liquid to cook down and sauce to thicken over time. people also often add beef stock, red wine, etc

It's really worth putting the extra effort into a bolognese.

good luck
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:07 PM   #9
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Real "Bolognese" sauce always begins with a soffrito and is cooked with white wine and milk.

Though traditional bolognese uses beef, you might have better luck with minced veal or a combo of the two.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:04 AM   #10
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Hey

Just thought I'd drop an update. I fried the mince beef in a small amount of oil and for less than I usually would; about 2 minutes; effectively just sealing the meat.

Then I dropped it into the sauce and just simmered it for 25 minutes; turned out perfectly :) and my date complimented it too :o

Thanks for all the advice guys :)
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