Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fettucine Bolognese

Well, after the last 2 posts, I started looking at other blogs, and the first one I dropped into was Food Renegade, who is hosting Fight Back Fridays - a blog carnival for Real Food lovers. Anyway, I thought I'd do one final post for the night (honest!) and talk about what we had for dinner, and how we eat, and some interesting things I've noticed recently about my family, and just generally gas-bag. Okay.
So tonight I had my 3 children, plus my cousin's three children. For anyone truly interested in that digression, you can read here. Tonight I made Fettucine Bolognese. And here are the 4 youngest with their dinners. Please ignore the white bread and Sippah straws. Also, the sale of raw milk is banned here >:( so we can't have any of that delicious nutritiusness (yes, that is a word) but have to put up with standard pastuerised milk. mmm... And butter :)

So, for my bolognese sauce, I start with 2 rashers of salt cured (nitrate-free) bacon, diced into 1cm slices (or thereabouts.) I toss them into the frying pan on low to let the fat rend.
I then dice one very big onion and toss that in, and give it a stir.
I then dice a good sized carrot, and one stalk of celery, and add those, giving them a stir, and then leave them to saute gently.
While they are cooking away, I then finely diced 4 roma tomatoes. None of the veges are home-grown or organic :( but I'm still getting there. So, 4 finely diced roma tomatoes make their way into the pan, and start to cook off.
Once they are nice and soft, I add 1kg pasture-fed beef mince (I am very fortunate to have a butcher nearby who sells pasture-fed beef and organic free-range chicken for decent prices. Actually, the butcher owns the cattle which become the meat that he sells. This meal took the last of my mince, so I will have to go in next week and get some more. In the meantime, I have a lovely chook in the freezer, along with 1kg each of chuck and lamb necks. Looking forward to those!) Okay, so add the mince, and break it up quickly. The more you break it up while it's raw, the finer the end product will be.
I also added a splash of red wine vinegar for a bit of kick, but I'm not sure that I added enough. I'm not used to cooking 1kg of mince - 500g is always enough for our family, with left-overs.
Anyway, once the mince was browned and all mixed in with the vegetables, I decided that there wasn't anywhere near enough of a sauce for what I wanted, so I added tomato sauce. I always add some sauce as it gives a kick from the vinegar that is always used in the recipes, but it seemed that I had to use a lot for this one. Of course, I was cooking twice as much food as normal, so - duh!
I had a look at the ingredients list, and it was: tomato puree (79%) sugar, salt, vinegar and flavour. We don't have HFCS here in Australia (thankfully) so companies tend to use plain sugar. If it was my own recipe, I would use grated carrot instead of the sugar, but I haven't gotten around to that, yet. Another time.
Moving on... So, the sauce is bubbling along, maturing, and it's time for the fettuince to go on. Just plain fettucine, nothing special. Once that's cooking, I then add the final touches. 3 teaspoons of garlic paste (oh, yeah!) and a really good (massive) pinch of oregano. My oregano is getting old, so I have to use a lot more, and I make sure to crush it as I'm adding it - this releases what's left of the aromatic oils. (Mental note - add Oregano to the shopping list. This is getting ridiculous.) As for the garlic paste - "You'll Love Coles" brand garlic paste has 96% Australian garlic, olive oil and salt as the only ingredients. Convenient, non-irradiated, non-bromided Australian garlic in olive, not canola, oil, and salt and citric acid as the only preservatives. Love it! And it's cheap.
Well, I managed to feed the ravening hordes, with no complaints, AND have left-overs. Guess what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow - mwa-ha-ha-ha!

And because I haven't written enough lately, I have more to say. Oh yes I do! We've been here about 6 weeks, now (or is it 7?) and my children have been eating my cooking, the way I like it, instead of my mother's style (since we lived with my parents for 6 months.) Well, we went back to Mum's place over the Easter weekend and saw a couple of people who hadn't seen the children since we left (6 weeks previously!) Well, the general opinion was that they had shot up (in 6 weeks!) and that they were looking a lot healthier. One person said they had a glow about them. Well, they've been eating simpler foods, and been spending more time outside, since it's cooler here, and more conducive to time spent outside. (Not in the mornings, though. It's cold then.)
Another thing we noticed today, having my cousin's children here, is the difference between her 2 girls (just-turned-9 and just-turned-8) and my youngest girl (not-quite-6). My daughter is shorter (hey, she's 2-3 years younger!) but heavier (1-2kg, but it's quite noticeable when you pick the girls up.) Gracey is also *stronger* than either of her cousins. If she wanted, she could push them about quite effectively. She is not a fat child (just look at any of their photos) but she is a strong and healthy child, active and growing.
Anyway, I think I've blogged (blabbed) enough for one day (don't you?) so'll stop now. Fine food wishes to all, and to all a good night!

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