Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pasta with Red Meat Sauce

Mise en place: beef, veal, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, basil, pasta, parmesan. I used to simmer this for hours, but lately I've just been using a pressure cooker. The results are slightly different in a way I can't quite put my finger on, but pretty good either way.
Sweat the onions and bell pepper in a little olive oil in the pressure cooker, adding garlic at the end.

Remove the vegetables and brown the meat...

.. and drain. I find it easiest to just use a strainer in a trash can.

These San Marzano tomatoes are a little pricey, but they're worth the extra expense.

Add them to the pressure cooker along with their juice, and crush them with a - um, whatever that thing is. A masher, I guess.

Then add the meat back in along with the herbs, and simmer a bit.

Add the vegetables back to the pot...

.. seal it up, bring it to pressure, and cook for about half an hour.

Run under water to release the pressure.

The finished sauce:

Boil the pasta.


I learned this from my dad, who'd been making it for as far back as I can remember. I don't think he used bell pepper, and I think he added some neck bones as well, but of course you can change this up any way you like. Last time I made it I browned a strip of pork chine (the little bones from a rack of ribs that you usually just cut off and cook separately), and that added quite a lot of flavor.

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