This recipe is 100% inspired by Jaclyn from the blog Chef Prive . Her version involves much bigger quantities and includes lamb mince which I think would add a very nice depth to the dish. I scaled things down a bit and only used pork and beef mince.
Now in terms of tequila, I have recently, after much exposure to some really fantastic top quality tipple, fallen in love with it. I have to admit it that I quaffed so much of the stuff in my late teens, it kind of put more off for the better part of the next two decades, and I reserved the drinking occasion strictly to BIG party (with extensive dancing) nights. I love the effect of it, just never been that wild about the taste.
That has all changed now that I drink the good stuff, and frequently find myself ordering a tequila and sipping it. I am still trying to educate friends who find the notion of sipping tequila quite foreign, and continuously prompt me to shoot it back. No way hozay, this chica is going to (for the most part) be enjoying it in a different way.
I love the recently launched Patron Silver, so decided to use this in my dish.
The flavour of tequila has also opened up a floodgate of ideas for mewhen applied with food. So watch this space, because along with my deep passion for Mexican cuisine, I’m going to be playing around with it as a key ingredient in my cooking.
So when I saw Jaclyn’s recipe, I got terribly excited.
What you need to make this:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 cup of good quality tequila – I used Patron Silver
- 500g lean organic beef mince
- 500g pork mince
- 4 rashers of good quality dry cured streak bacon or pancetta (about 100gms)
- a small handfull of fresh sage
- 1/4 cup fennel bulb, chopped (you could use celery if fennel bulb is not available), and a small tuft of the frilly leaves
- 1 small carrot finely chopped
- a few sprigs of thyme – leaves removed
- a small handful of Italian parsley finely chopped
- 3 Tbs of tomato paste
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 350ml of lamb stock (I used Nomu lamb fond)
- Salt and pepper to taste (I always use smoked salt)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic reduction to stir into the sauce which adds a nice sweetness
- and about another 2 Tbs to add at the end (I did in fact use the Turkish fig infused one)
How to make this:
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pot and fry the onion and bacon until soft – about 8 minutes
- In a seperate pan fry the meat in batches until brown and set aside
- add the fennel, carrot and garlic and cook for a few minutes
- add half a cup (half of) the tequila and allow the liquid to evarpourate off (this happens quickly)
- add the browned meat, the other half a cup of tequila, the tomato paste, herbs, balsamic and the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes
- add the tin of tomatoes and stock and bring it to a boil
- reduce to a very slow simmer and let it cook slowly like this for 3 – 4 hours
- adjust the seasoning and add the balsamic reduction
Serve this over cooked pasta like tagliatelle or linguine with a generous grating of Parmesan or Pecorino.
The tequila adds a beautiful depth to the dish and the long slow cook really develops the flavours. This is the way I’m going to be making bolognese from here on out.