Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Howdy folks.

So the week before the 50km run, my family and I would watch Masterchef together at the living room every night after dinner. And at almost every commercial break, they would play this Coles ad where they fed a family of four with Fettucini Bolognese under $10.

And honestly, almost the whole time we were running while in pain and hunger, the stupid ad kept coming to mind. And you could not have chosen a worse time to be craving for that damned Fettucini Bolognese. ARGH.

And I've always loved Spaghetti Bolognese. Simple, tasty, nothing fancy, just COMFORT food. It's just that prior to this, I've ONLY ever made it with the pre-made sauces you get from the supermarket. And after a while, the taste just gets worse and worse until I've stopped trying.

Until after the run, the thought of eating a REALLY yummy plate of Spaghetti Bolognese still would not leave me. So I vowed I would finally take the effort to attempt this precious recipe the way it was meant to be made, and not out of the jar.

And embarrassingly enough, I took this rather seriously. I spent about 10minutes a day for almost a week just looking up as many bolognese recipes I could find, hoping that I would find one that I would like. Googling "best bolognese recipe", "famous bolognese recipe", "tastiest bolognese recipe", etc.

After a while, I found out that I liked bits and parts from different recipes here and there. Immediately, I sat down and compiled all my favourite ingredients and methods into ONE single recipe that I actually liked. This was my first draft. Was so exciting cause the whole time, I had the draft stuck on the fridge with a pen next to it.

This is now the second time that while I was preparing/cooking, I would refer back to the draft to add/change the methods/amounts of the ingredients, just so the recipe would follow almost exactly what I was doing and I can refer back to it again in the future. The first was for my Apple Crumble Recipe. And I love doing this. Cause I know that recipe has been tested and tried and proven successful, so all I have to do is just refer to it again if I ever want to remake/perfect it in the future.

And it felt so good eating this dish cause for the first time in a very very long time, I actually tasted a bolognese pasta sauce that I actually liked!! And it turns out it's not that hard to make. The next detailed recipe post would most probably be my Creamy Butter Prawn recipe. I've made it enough times to know what makes the dish good or bad to share. Looking forward to it.

Anyway here's my slightly modified version of Bolognese Recipe. Also, let me just stress that this is not the most perfect or best recipe out there. But all I can say that every single detail has been tailored to be exactly how I want this dish to taste. Same goes for all the recipes I have ever posted and will post in the future. For instance, I personally do not like pasta sauces to be too wet and runny, that's why I had reduced my sauce under high heat for 25minutes to obtain the taste and consistency I wanted. And anyone is free to make any changes they want to any recipes they come across =)

Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Serves 8


-250g pork mince
- 250g beef mince
- 150g streak bacon, diced
- 2 x 400g diced tomatoes (from can)
- 2 cups (500ml) beef stock
- 1 cup (250ml) red wine
- 200g (4 pieces) portobello mushrooms
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery, diced
- 1 brown onion, diced (use 1/2 if large)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 dashes of any dried herbs (from pantry)


1. Add olive oil into heated wok
2. Add mushrooms, carrot, celery, onion, garlic
3. Push vegetables aside to make room to add bacon
4. Cook bacon until slightly seared and fragrant
5. Stir ingredients in wok, simmer under medium heat for 4min
6. Add minced meats, make sure not lumped together, use spatula to break apart
7. Add beef stock, wine, diced tomatoes
8. Stir before reducing the sauce under high heat for 25min (or slightly half of original volume)
9. Add dashes of your favourite dried herbs, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
10. Enjoy with your favourite pasta! For bolognese, I like something noodley like spaghetti or angel hair =D

Snapshot of dry ingredients used

MMMMM... Final product topped with some cheddar cheese (that I found in the fridge and shredded).

Mountain of pasta for dinner the next day again. Great to come home to massive amount of your comfort food after a long day of hard work topped with extra extra cheese.

Reason why I made this to serve 8 even though it was for my sister and I, was cause I knew I would eat a lot and would love to eat leftovers of it. Also, I thought I would use the extra to make lasagne if I didn't want to eat it with pasta anymore. Too bad there wasn't enough cause I had so much pasta =(

Anyway, while I was cooking this, I actually decided that I would take my Food Photography more seriously from now on. I admit, I have been very lazy since I started and just focused on getting the technical part right. But honestly, I haven't put it ANY effort at all to make the pictures look more enticing. So from now on, I'm gonna try and take many more while playing around with angles and shooting modes.

Which just means my friends will have to wait longer for me to finish taking my photo before they can eat. Lucky them. It's really challenging cause most of my meals/cooking are at night, where there is no natural light. And my backdrop is very limited, but will try. Hopefully I will get better at this.

Hope everyone is getting set for the upcoming exams! Peace!

Much Love,

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Once again, I need to apologise for being a complete douche for breaking my promises to upload more regularly for the Nth time. Also, I REALLY have to stop procrastinating to clean up the layout and design for this food blog. It's just so empty not having the big header design so I can't wait to finally be able to get right down to it this winter break.

So, here's more piks from the time Mum visited for almost two months and a bit of everything else. Enjoiiii~~~

Home-cooked meals:-

This was from yet another dinner party at our place. Mum brought over some yummy curry paste from KK. Not too spicy but so tasty. It's funny how I was telling my other KK friend the other day that I've never actually enjoyed/eaten so much curry till I came to Australia. Especially the really really yummy ones where you can eat it with a mountain of rice flooded with sauce. YUMMM.

My creamy butter prawns. If you don't mind me saying, just keeps looking and tasting better each time I make it. Still as simple as ever, anyone can make this yummy dish. Highly recommend it.

Tips: (i)Use GOOD butter, I have experimented enough with the good and bad to tell you that it makes a helluva difference.
(ii)Use Fresh SHELLED prawns - the flavour comes from the head. Never buy deshelled/deveined prawns, especially in Australia. There's no more taste at all and the texture is totally off from being washed too many times.

Mum's spinach dish in anchovies broth with salted eggs. In Cantonese it's called something like, "Shiong Tong Yuen Choi".

Dinner setup

Mum's Mee Siam - YUM!!!

Sis' Donna Hay's Chocolate Mudmuffin MMMM

Fish Head Curry - YUMM!!! More rice and sauce, prease

Lemongrass Chicken. Mum went to Springvale and Boxhill with a friend and got so much YUMMY food! DID YOU KNOW THEY SOLD CORN FED CHICKEN IN SPRINGVALE?! Yuuuuuuumm... Totally nostalgic now. Here, I thought Aussie chicken sucked all this time but now there is hope... In Springvale.

One of mum's favourite thing to cook this trip - Ox Tongue... YUM!!! MORE MORE MORE, PREASE. You have to clean the ones you get from Vic Mark yourself. But according to Mum in Boxhill Market, if you pay an extra $1, they will clean everything for you and all you have to do is just to whack it in the pan and COOK.

Fish Maw Soup. I loveee homemade soup

Mum also bought a treat for us from Springvale. REALLY fleshy lobster. I made this Cheese Baked Lobster using a recipe I found from one of my favourite Food Blog site, Rasa Malaysia.

Made it for the first time and was complete success. SUPER EASY and YUMMY!!! Now, I'm just thinking of what else I can bake with this recipe. SO GOOD. MMMMMMM

Mum is awesome. She cooked EVERY single thing that Sis and I requested during her trip here. And one of them was fried quails. I absolutely love this dish - since I was a child. YUMMMMM. Thanks, Ma!!!

Lamb Shank and rice after 50km run

One of mum's favourite dishes to cook this trip - Assam Ox Tail. Wish I had gotten a better picture though. It's like every time my parents come, they always are in the season/mood of cooking a particular meat/recipe for that trip. This time is definitely Ox Tail and Tongue MMMMM... Wonder what it'll be, next trip =)

Just thought I'd put up this picture. One of our many, MANY dinner parties at our place during the 7 weeks that Mum and Dad were in town. So many group photos were taken, memorable meals were had over that dining table that you see over there. What a blessing.

Lunch with Annabella and friends:-

Have you ever seen Italian Pizza garnished with Shallots? Lol. So Chinese lah. But still tasted good =)

Spaghetti Al-Funghi

Forgot the name of this pasta whoops. Pretty good tho

FREE Choc Pizza. Too bad they don't give out free ones anymore. I love any Hazelnut chocolate/ice-cream/dessert. And what can be better than melted Nutella... Oooooooh...

Mercadante Woodfired Pizza
123 Lygon St Carlton VIC 3053
(03) 9347 6974

Calvin's Birthday dinner with the ENG gang:-

Yummy... I love this prosciutto and semi dried tomatoes pizza... Always go back for this one

Pesto based pasta #1

Pesto based pasta #2. Both oh so good.

Chocolate Banana Cake (without banana) from Secret Recipe ;p. Was only about $35 for this MASSIVE cake cause a friend managed to get it for us CHEAP woot!!

Finally had an occasion to order Secret Recipe cake. We were so close to just ordering one anyway and just eat it at uni during one of our Monday lunch breaks. Now can't wait for next person's birthday. We got so many cakes we wanna eat from there mannn...

One really good reason for celebrating your birthday here. Cause if you do, you get FREE sparkling wine for the table!!!

Emporio Della Pasta
Ground Floor, Crown Casino
(03) 9292 7815

Dinner with the KK Szechuan Gang =D :-

This dish is called, "Ant Up the Tree". Don't ask me why - would love to know too. Basically stir fried glass noodles with spicy minced meat. SO TASTY. A little salty though but still good.

We HAVE to have at least one non-spicy dish each time we eat Szechuan food. Otherwise, we'd die, seriously. Would always be this fried beans with minced meat. Sounds simple but really good lol. Life saver, I swear.

Chilli Beef on Toothpicks. I LOVED this one. So incredibly crispy and delicious. YUM.

You gotta have fried pork intestines in Szechuan meal. This one was killer. Looks more mild than previous one but WAYYYY hotter.

And EVERY Szechuan meal is incomplete without the Water Boiled Fish!!!! YUMMM... Out of all the ones we've tried, the one at this restaurant is hands down still the BEST.

Before, we've been really open minded about giving other Szechuan restaurants a try, time and time again. Thing is EVERY TIME we go somewhere different, it just disappoints. And this is what happens after you've had the best. And this restaurant is by far much better and authentic in every sense possible for this cuisine. Next time you want to enjoy a Szechuan meal, don't even bother going anywhere else. And I bet you almost every one who knows Szechuan in Melbourne will tell you the same thing.

Dainty Sichuan Restaurant

176 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, 3141

(03) 9078 1686

Lunch after church today:-

Combination of Spicy Seafood and Blackbean Noodle. I loveee Korean noodles. So much smoother and chewier.

Beef slices. This is what I love most about Korean BBQ - it's that belly cut of Beef/Pork. To die for, seriously.

Han Guuk Kwan
13A Victoria St Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9639 1747

Some not-so-healthy-post-mama food =(

Bak Kut Teh. Whoah damn nice weh the pork ribs after being cooked for about 4 hrs. So tender and soft that falls off the bones but not mushy. Can't wait to make this again - this time with Singaporean Teochew Bak Kut Teh

And, uh... Dinner tonight. I know, I know. Not the healthiest thing. But damn nice weh the chicken schnitzel from Vic Mark and I can't control myself when it comes to curly fries =X

Will TRY to upload more often from now on - hopefully with more good stuff to see! Definitely gonna spend more time at home to experiment this winter break. Looking forward to it! Cheers, everybody!

Much Love,