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Big-batch Bolognese

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
Whip up a huge batch of bolognese that's fit to feed a hungry crowd, or freeze half for a speedy midweek meal

  • Prep: 25 mins
    Cook: 1 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 12
  • Easy
  • Serves 12
  • Easy
  • Calories 295
  • Carbohydrates 13
  • Saturated Fat 4
  • Sugar 11
  • Protein 34
  • Fat 12
  • Fibre 4
  • Salt 0.87

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 295
  • Carbohydrates 13
  • Saturated Fat 4
  • Sugar 11
  • Protein 34
  • Fat 12
  • Fibre 4
  • Salt 0.87

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 smoked bacon rashers, chopped
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ kg lean minced beef (or use half beef, half pork mince)
  • 6 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp tomato purée
  • large glass red wine (optional)
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Parmesan, to serve

Tip

If you want to use a slow cooker...
Fry your bacon and mince off in batches in a large pan until browned. Put into your slow cooker, add the veg, garlic, herbs, 4 x 400g cans tomatoes, tomato purée, wine, vinegar, sugar and seasoning. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours, then uncover, turn to High and cook for another hour until thick and saucy.

Moroccan mince
Use lamb mince instead of beef, swap the mixed herbs for 2 tbsp each ground cinnamon and cumin, and use 2 handfuls dried apricots instead of mushrooms.

Bolognese bake
Boil 2kg potatoes until tender, drain, then mash with 100g butter and 100g grated cheese. Spoon the mince between 2 large baking dishes and top with the mash. Bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 until golden and bubbling.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a very large saucepan. Gently cook the bacon, onions, carrots and celery for 20 mins until golden. Add the garlic, herbs, bay and mushrooms, then cook for 2 mins more.

  2. Heat a large frying pan until really hot. Crumble in just enough mince to cover the pan, cook until brown, then tip in with the veg. Continue to fry the mince in batches until used up. Tip the tomatoes and purée in with the mince and veg. Rinse the cans out with the red wine, if you have some, or with a little water, then add to the pan with the vinegar and sugar. Season generously and bring to a simmer. Simmer slowly for 1 hr until thick and saucy and the mince is tender. Serve with pasta and Parmesan.