Ul­ti­mate Bolog­nese

Homestyle New Zealand - - LIVING -

SERVES 6

150g chicken liver (I pre­fer to use or­ganic or at least free-range) Ghee or olive oil, for sautéing 1 brown onion, finely diced 2 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp fen­nel seeds 125g free-range streaky ba­con, diced 800g beef mince 3 x 400g cans cherry toma­toes 1 cup (250ml) beef stock ½ cup (125ml) red wine 1 tbsp fresh rose­mary leaves, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves Salt and cracked black pep­per

Wash the liver and pat dry with pa­per tow­els, then trim off any vis­i­ble sinew and dice into very small pieces. Take the time to dice well so you don’t end up with dis­cernible chunks of liver.

Heat a large spoon­ful of ghee or oil in a fry­ing pan over a medium or high heat. Add the chopped liver and cook for about 5 min­utes un­til it’s deeply browned. Don’t be afraid to let it get a re­ally dark colour.

Re­move the liver from the pan, adding a splash of wa­ter to help scrape up all the caramelised pieces that have stuck to the bot­tom of the pan.

Re­duce the heat to medium. Add another large spoon­ful of oil along with the onion and gar­lic, and cook gen­tly un­til ten­der and translu­cent. Add the fen­nel seeds and cook for a fur­ther minute, then turn up the heat slightly and add the ba­con. Cook for 3 min­utes un­til the fat has started to melt.

Turn up the heat to high and add the mince, then cook for 10-15 min­utes un­til it’s well browned and some of the fat has been cooked and drained off. Don’t try to shorten this step or your end re­sult could end up too oily.

Add the liver, toma­toes, stock, wine and herbs, and bring to the boil be­fore re­duc­ing the heat to medium and sim­mer­ing for 1 hour. Add a lit­tle wa­ter or more stock if the pan be­comes dry. Taste and sea­son gen­er­ously with salt and cracked black pep­per.

Though not tra­di­tional, a cup or two of diced Por­to­bello mush­rooms or two large hand­fuls of chopped greens work bril­liantly in this, too.

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