This bolognese sauce is my new addiction. My friend Corinne made dinner for the kids and I last week saying “We’re just having bolognese, I’ll bring some over.” But there’s nothing “just” or ho-hum about this bolognese, which is hinted at by its somewhat random ingredients list, and twice cooked methodology. But man, is it worth it. Corinne’s bolognese is hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. I think perhaps she was well aware of our family’s penchant for Weetbix and porridge dinners, especially when dad’s away. But we so appreciated her kindness in sharing with us some of what she and her family were having for dinner that night, which just so happened to be amazingness masquerading as ordinary. To me, this best ever bolognese is called Bacony Kindness Bolognese, and I thank God for my friend and for hers. First published by Delicious Magazine, (photo credit too) this lovely gluten free and freezer friendly recipe costs under $20 to make and easily serves 10.
- 30g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200g bacon, any kind, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500g each beef and pork mince
- 2 cups (500ml) milk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups (375ml) dry red wine (I just use a cheap clean skin)
- 800g canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups (500ml) beef stock (I use powdered, but use a gluten free variety if needed)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius.
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until it starts to crisp. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the beef and pork mince and cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned.
- Add the milk and nutmeg and simmer over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the milk evaporates. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2-3 minutes until combined, then add the wine and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, then cook in the oven for 2 hours or until thickened and reduced. Skim any fat from the surface, then serve with pasta.
My friend Wendy recently sent in this amazing recipe and having tried it out, I think I’ll be making it time and time again. Utilising all the benefits of a slow cooker, this affordable and tasty meal is just so easy to do. Just put the meat and marinade in a slow cooker 8 hours before your guests arrive. The accompanying apple slaw takes no longer than a standard salad to make and your guests can put it all together themselves during the meal. Wendy made this pork-tastic dinner en-masse for a church dinner recently using two slow cookers and was able to feed everyone affordably in a cinch. I recommend purchasing the pork from a butcher as mine was half the price of my local Woolworth’s. Serving 10 people easily, this recipe costs around $20, when pork is on special. Thanks Wendy!
- 2kg pork shoulder
- 1 x 375g bottle BBQ marinade (whatever is cheap, even standard BBQ sauce will do)
- 1/2 small savoy cabbage, shredded
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 small apples, grated
- 1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped (if you have it – if not, don’t stress)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of lemon squeeze or juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 20 bread rolls or french stick/baguette equivalent
- Place pork in a slow cooker and empty all the marinade over it. Replace lid, switch to low and cook for 8 hours.
- Combine cabbage, carrot, apple and mint in a salad bowl. In a separate measuring jug, combine mayonnaise, dijon and lemon juice. Dress slaw mixture with the dressing and toss well.
- Remove pork from slow cooker, and using 2 forks pull the tender pork apart
- Place fresh rolls, pork and apple slaw in the centre of the table, allowing people to put together their own pork and apple slaw rolls.
Last week on My Kitchen Rules Jake and Elle won the People’s Choice Award with this yummy dish in the Budget Challenge. The show itself gets on my nerves for lots of reasons, but still, I find myself watching it with some regularity. I was so glad I saw this episode! It was easy to find the recipe online and it truly was a fast, easy and cheap meal to make. And the whole family loved it. I love how it uses mince rather than pieces of expensive meat which I always seems to murder in the stir-frying, resulting in tough bits of meat that are hard to eat. But this pork mince stir-fry is wonderfully forgiving – a great one, I imagine, to teach teenagers to cook for themselves when necessary. At the most, this tasty stir fry will take 15 minutes to prepare and another 15 to cook, and using the quantities listed below will cost around $10 to make. Serves 4, though I stretched it out to serve 6 by adding more noodles and it worked a treat.
- 400g egg noodles
- 1/3 cup kecap manis
- 1½ tbs fish sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
- 500g pork mince
- ½ bunch coriander, chopped
- 1 bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
- 1cm-piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
- Coriander, to garnish
1. Cook noodles in a saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions. Drain noodles and set aside.
2. Combine kecap manis and fish sauce in a small jug.
3. Heat oil in a wok or large deep frying pan over high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes or until onion softens. Add garlic and cook for a further 1 minute. Add pork mince and sitr-fry, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add sauce and noodles and stir through for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
4. Garnish with coriander to serve.
• You can also use chicken or turkey mince in this dish.
• For variety, this spiced pork mixture would also be great served in lettuce cups or with rice.
• You can add any type of extra vegetables to this dish – try sliced red capsicum, baby corn or bean sprouts.