Unfortunately, I used cheaper pre-packed minced beef, but found the grainy texture of the meat disappointing, and I didn't want to use it in a spaghetti bolognese.
Without wishing to waste all my hard work, I reasoned the bolognese would benefit from further slow cooking. And... I wasn't disappointed either; the resulting lasagne, slow cooked in the oven yesterday, proved to be a hit and was devoured in minutes. What a great rescue plan.
Making meals from scratch takes effort and time - both can be in short supply! Then if things go wrong, it can be very frustrating. So, as I've just learned, it makes sense to start with good ingredients. They may cost a bit more, but the end result will be worth it.
I'm experimenting with garlic too - and found this smoked garlic (front of pic) in Morrisons supermarket at just 59p. I wish I could 'attach' the wonderful smoky aroma to this post!
We love pasta, and have eaten it right from the start of our fabulous weight loss. It's filling, tasty and this lasagne for example is under 500 calories! What more can you ask? Oh, and egg pasta is more filling because it contains egg (protein).
If you are going to turn this beef bolognese into a LASAGNE here's a link to how we achieved the perfectly smooth white sauce - it never fails!!
Here's the NEW bolognese recipe I was trying out - experimenting with smoked garlic and other vegetables. The sauce was positively bursting with so much flavour.
500g (good) minced beef
half a carrot
half stick of celery
2 very large cloves of garlic (try smoked garlic if you can get it)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
tablespoon tomato puree
2 small bay leaves
teaspoon dried oregano
teaspoon of dried basil
teaspoon of dried thyme
175ml red wine
salt & pepper
a little sugar
Brown the minced beef in a (dry) frying pan. Place on kitchen paper to remove fat and set aside until later.
While the frying pan is still hot, pour in the red wine and let that bubble away for a couple of minutes.
Put the wine into a large saucepan.
Put a little oil to the frying pan. Add the chopped onions, carrot and celery. Cook for around 5 minutes then add the chopped garlic and cook for a further minute.
Put the vegetables into the large saucepan (containing the wine) and add the tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves, oregano, basil and thyme.
Cook for around 15 minutes - or until the vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaves and BLEND this tomato mixture.
Taste - and add salt/pepper. Keep adding a little salt to suit your taste buds. Usually I know when I've added enough salt, because the sauce has a 'pleasing' rather than a bland taste. Everyone's tastebuds are different, which is why it's best to add the salt, taste, then add a bit more.
If the mix is too acidic - add a little sugar, start with less than half a teaspoon, then add more if you wish.
Once the sauce has been blended, add the beef, water (and bay leaves) and simmer gently for a good 45 minutes. Add more water if you think the sauce is too stiff.
Use the bolognese sauce for lasagne as I did, or as a spaghetti bolognese. I use dried lasagne sheets that do not need to be soaked first. After assembling my lasagne, I added a bit more water to my bolognese mix to account for the dried pasta, then put the uncooked dish into the fridge. The lasagne sheets began to soak up the moisture and flavours before cooking the next day.
****REMEMBER: We all have a calorie allowance - do you know yours?
We began our weight loss journey in January 2011 - and began our blog in June 2011. Here's a link to the first post. (here's the link).
We like to post our main meals to give you an idea of just how far calories can go! It's up to you what you eat.
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