Bolognese (Meat Sauce)

The key to any good sauce, or soup for that matter, is balance of flavors. Balancing fats to acids and spice to sweet. For this recipe there are two ingredients that help with that. A glob of rendered pork fat from a braised pork shoulder and, slightly less bad for you, sugar. You probably have sugar around, but if you don’t have the pork fat around (why don’t you have pork fat around?), make some by cooking down chunks of pork fat over low heat in a pan and keep it in your freezer it until you need it.

1 quart

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion – small dice
5 heads of garlic – minced
1/4 head of fennel – small dice
2 TBL dried oregano
1/2 tsp red chili flakes

1/4 cup red wine – the cheap shit

5 tomatoes – cored and pureed in a blender
2 TBL tomato paste
1 TBL sugar
2 TBL reduced pork fat
1 bay leaf

1. In a large sauce pot over medium heat, brown the beef in olive oil until fully cooked.
2. Add the onion, garlic, dried oregano, red chili flakes and fennel and sauté for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the red wine and reduce until most of the liquid has cooked off.
4. Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, pork fat and bay leaf. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and let the sauce cook on low heat for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. The sauce is ready when most of the tomato juice has reduced and the sauce is quite thick and chunky. It should be noticeable darker in color and in flavor.
6. Adjust seasonings as desired.

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