Friday, March 27, 2020

Instant Pot Bolognese

Hi everyone,

It is Friday today but feels like it's hard to keep track of the days. I hope you are staying safe, healthy and mentally hanging in there. I think part of what is hard is all the uncertainty. Sure we can hunker down..but until when? how long? what's next? It's the eerie calm before the storm feeling that I find haunting, and really hope that social distancing leads to a less dire outcome. It's hard to plan for the weeks and months ahead so I am trying to let that go and just take things day by day.

You may find you are enjoying the new pace of life, appreciating the extra time with your kids, or spouse one minutes, frustrated and short-tempered the next.. It's okay to have mixed feelings and have highs and lows. There is no "right" way to feel. We are in this together and it's a great time as any to catch up with friends and family near and far! If you are feeling lonely, sad, scared, or just want to talk, please reach out. Lets stay connected and help pick each other up. Send a text, e-mail, call or face-time, I know I would love to hear from you!

Juliet said it might be a good time to revive this little blog and share some recipes. I don't know about you guys but I have been craving comfort food, hard! We are also trying to make sure we eat lots of veggies (while we have them and use them up before they go bad) so I decided to try my hand at making a bolognese sauce . So after days of eating delicious meals prepared by S (he reminds me), I finally got back into the kitchen.



I adapted this recipe and added in spinach and mushrooms. I recently ordered 1kilos of mushrooms from Roots and Shoots - they are doing deliveries if you live in the downtown core and their mushrooms are the local ones and are so good! As part of the delivery we also got eggs, spinach and beets. I was pleasantly surprised to have pretty much all the needed ingredients, including heavy cream and beef brothwhich we don't usually have on hand. We even had parsley for garnish growing in our little aerogarden. If you don't have all the ingredients, you can definitely adapt it and make it with whatever you have on hand. No instant pot? no problem.  This could definitely be made on the stove top, just leave it on low for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop.

I may be biased but I think it turned out delicious. S really liked it too. We froze some of the sauce to have at a later time. 

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stock diced- I omitted as i didn't have
mushrooms
1 pound lean ground beef
2 spicy sausages
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of ground nutmeg- omitted
Pinch of ground cinnamon
3/4 cups dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup beef stock or broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions:
  1. Set your Instant Pot to the high saute setting. Melt butter; add onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef, sausage, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and cinnamon until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until reduced, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in crushed tomatoes, beef stock. and spinach. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 20 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
  6. Select sauté setting; simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until thickened to desired consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve over pasta, with a little bit of parmesan and garnish with parsley, enjoy!

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