Monday 11 August 2014

Ragu alla Bolognese (Beef Ragu) from My Berlin Kitchen - A love story (with Recipes).

One of the best food memoirs I have read is My Berlin Kitchen - a love story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss from the blog The Wednesday Chef. It is heartfelt and honest and full of mouthwatering recipes that made you feel like you were on one of her secret Berlin weekends eating pizza on the balcony or rugged up in her Berlin kitchen through her first winter there.

My copy of her book is full of tabbed pages with recipes to try. I have even gone so far as looking up how to grow elderflower bushes in pots to make her elderflower cordial and where to buy them online. And the stories about fruit picking... I just love the idea of going fruit picking then making jams and compotes out of it to have for months after when the fruit is no longer in season but the memory of the times you had while picking are in that thick slather you put on toast or add to a pudding. Sounds so poetic. Oh and I adore the love story in it and the happy ending. I'm a sucker for a happy ending!

One of the worst things about the book is that it ended... I could have kept on reading more and more but thank goodness she has her blog, The Wednesday Chef. She started her blog to cook through her mountain of newspaper clippings she had collected.

I've been wanting to make a recipe from My Berlin Kitchen ever since I finished reading it to keep the story going and one of my favourite foods as a kid was Spaghetti bolognese. I have done my research and much more food educated now in that fact that in Italy, there is no such thing as spaghetti bolognese. The meat sauce needs a thicker pasta for the sauce to cling to as you twirl your fork full of pasta and fill your gob.  There was no way I could pass up the Ragu alla Bolognese (Beef Ragu) in the book on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. So few ingredients and so much trust needed not to add anything extra. And no I did not use spaghetti for those Italian's out there...I used fettuccini.

Now just a little about my childhood... The bolognese my mum cooked was always made in a microwave until I was about ten years old. Yes I said microwave. Microwave cooking was the height of technology in the 90's and my mum loved it! She could make bolognese, risotto, lamb chops, quiche, pasta, rice... you name it and my mum could cook it in a microwave. My sister and I never knew that the bolognese we were brought up on had a slight microwaved cooked meat smell and taste to it until we started having bolognese at other peoples houses and realised that mums tasted a little funny (at least she never put beans in hers!). One night we asked her, treading ever so carefully so we didn't hurt her feelings, if she could cook it on the stove tonight and she did. From that day on she never went back to the microwave (for bolognese) and I have never had a microwaved bolognese from that day onwards again.

Ragu alla Bolognese (Beef Ragu) from My Berlin Kitchen

Ragu alla Bolognese (Beef Ragu) from My Berlin Kitchen

Back to Luisa's Ragu... all I wanted to do was add some garlic or add a bay leaf or teaspoon of dried oregano but she specifically says - "don't follow the urge to add celery, a bay leaf or a dash of cinnamon. You'll be rewarded for your obedient focus with a meat sauce that truly tastes of Italy" - I trusted her. I did what she said and was I rewarded?... yes! An extra hour cooking and I'm sure I would be even more rewarded but time is of the essence and as much as I wish I was organised enough to start it 5 hours before we wanted to sit down and eat dinner, I'm just not that organised (yet). The sauce is as simple as beef mince, pork mince, carrot, onion, olive oil, butter, pureed tomatoes and some salt. Oh and some red wine but thats a given because you're already going to open a bottle, right?
Don't let these simple every day ingredients fool you. This combination will make you rethink your own bolognese ragu recipe.

So delicious served over steaming pasta with some freshly grated parmesan. Lip licking good!

Pretty excited that we have some leftovers in the freezer for a quick mid-week dinner.

Ragu alla Bolognese (Beef Ragu) from My Berlin Kitchen

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by, I love hearing from you! x


#giveaway 15 minute meals 30 minute meals 5 Minute Food Fix A Common Table A Kitchen in the Valley A Modern Way to Eat Acquacotta Adam Liaw Alison Roman Alison Thompson almonds Amelia Morris Anna Jones Annie Herron Antonio Carluccio Anya von Bremzen apple apps Apt 2b Baking Co Artisan Sourdough Made Simple Ashley Rodriguez autumn avocado babies baby baby shower bacon Bake baked pasta baking Bali Barcelona Cult Recipes basil BBQ beans beef beetroot Bill Granger biscuits blondies Bon Appetempt Bowl & Spoon bread breadcrumbs broccoli brussel sprouts burgers burrito buttercream butternut squash byo cabbage cake calzone camping Carla Lali Music carrot cauliflower chicken childhood chilli chinese cooking chipotle chocolate chorizo chutney Claire Ptak Classic German Baking Classics 1 Classics 2 coconut Comfort Food cookbook addict cookies cordial corn cucumber curry custard Cynthia Chen McTernan Date Night In David Dale Delicious. magazine dessert Dining In dinner party nightmares Dinner: A Love Story dip doings Donna Hay Donna Hay Magazine dumplings easy egg eggplant Eleanor Ford Emiko Davies Emilie Raffa Emma Spitzer ENOTW Every Night of the Week Veg family Fast Fresh Simple Feast Feasting fennel fiction Fire Islands Five Quarters Flora Sheedan Florentine Food & Wine Food52 Fresh & Light Fress frozen dessert Fuchsia Dunlop galette Gatherings Genius Recipes Gennaro Contaldo Gennaro's Fast Cook Italian Gennaro's Italian Bakery Gennaro's Pasta Perfecto! german ginger gnocchi goats cheese granola Greenfeast gumbo Gwyneth Paltrow Happenings holiday home home-grown herbs How to be a Domestic Goddess hungry Hunter Valley ice-cream indian Indonesian Cooking involtini It's All Easy It's all Good jam Jamie Does Jamie Magazine Jamie Oliver Jamie's America Jamie's Great Britain Jamie's Italy Jane Hornby japanese Jenny Rosenstrach Jessica Fechtor Julia Turshen Justine Schofield. The Weeknight Cookbook kale Karen Martini kimchi Kitchen korean Kylee Newton LA Cult Recipes Land of Fish and Rice leek lemon lentils life Light of Lucia Link Love links long weekends love Luciana Sampogna Lucio Galletto Lucy Tweed Luisa Weiss Maggie Beer maple Marc Grossman Marcella Hazan Marian Burros Martha Stewart Matthew Evans meal planning meatballs meatloaf mess mexican Michael James Michelle Crawford mince mint miso Monte Carlos Mum's cooking mushroom mussels My Berlin Kitchen My Kitchen Year Naturally Ella new beginnings New York Cult recipes Nigel Slater Nigelissima Nigella Bites Nigella Express Nigella Lawson No Time to Cook noodles North West Island nostalgia Not Just Jam NotWithoutSalt oats omelette paddle pops parsley pasta Paul McIntyre Paul West Paulene Christie pea pecans pesto pickle pickles pie pizza Plenty Plenty More plum pork potato prawns preserving prosciutto pudding pumpkin quesadilla quinoa Rachel eats Rachel Khoo Rachel Roddy ragu rambles raspberry recipe rhubarb rice risotto River Cottage Australia romantic Ruth Reichl saffron salad Sally Wise salsa verde Salt Fat Acid Heat Samin Nosrat sandwiches Sara Forte sausage Save with Jamie schupfnudeln seafood sesame Seven Spoons Simon David Simple slow cooker Slow Cooker Central Small Victories Sophie Hansen soup sourdough Sprouted Kitchen starters Stephanie Danler Stir stir-fry stuffed sushi Sweet Amandine sweet potato Sweetbitter tahini Taking Stock Tara O-Brady Taste Tibet Tasting Rome thai Thai Food Made Easy The Art of Pasta The Best of Maggie Beer The Comfort Bake The Dinner Ladies The Little Book of Slow The Little Paris Kitchen The Modern Cook's Year The Modern Preserver The Naked Chef The New Classics The Tivoli Road Baker The Violet Bakery Cookbook The Wednesday Chef The Zen Kitchen thyme Tom Kime tomato tuna turkey tuscany Two Greedy Italians Two Red Bowls Valeria Necchio vanilla veal vegetables vegetarian Veneto vietnamese wedding wedding cake What can I bring? What to Bake and How to Bake it Where Cooking Begins Where the Heart is yoghurt Yossy Arefi Yotam Ottolenghi Yumi Stynes zucchini