Welcome to the first official post of 2017. Lots of new things going on for the blog this year. Each month we will be featuring recipes pertaining to a different package or attachment for the Ankarsrum mixer, and each month that certain item will be on sale. This month we are tackling the Deluxe Package. In addition to the Basic Mixer Package, this package also includes the Blender, Citrus Press and the Meat Mincer Complete Package.
Apparently this past Wednesday, January 4th was National Spaghetti Day, and I thought what better way to feature the Deluxe Package than to make up sauce using the strainer and meat grinder and fresh spaghetti with the pasta discs (included in the meat mincer complete package.) And my husband really loves spaghetti, so bonus for him!
A quick word on tomatoes. Because of where I live, I am fortunate enough to still have access to tasty tomatoes at this time of year. However, I know some of you only have the tasteless watery versions in stores right now. I would suggest saving this recipe for the summertime. If you grow tomatoes in your garden during the summer, you can core them and freeze them whole (lay out on a sheet tray till fully frozen, then bag). Then just thaw them out during the winter months for chili and sauce.
I make plenty of quick tomato sauces for dinner on a regular basis. But when I have a little more time, I like to make a “real” sauce, with layers of flavor building upon one another. The tomatoes are obviously the star of the whole show, but there are plenty of other important components. A lot of sauces, soups and dishes start with carrots, celery and onions. This classic combo is called mirepoix, and is generally 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery. This fact was hammered into my head during my first quarter at culinary school. And I chopped more onions, carrots and celery than I ever thought possible.
I like to think of mirepoix as part of the foundation of my sauce, along with the tomatoes and meat. Now the meat can be anything you want it to be. I used a combo of beef and pork because it was what I had in my freezer. That is the beauty of having the grinder. Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, venison, goat. Whatever type of meat you have on hand can be utilized.
After the foundation comes the middle part, the ingredients that round out the flavors of the sauce. Garlic is a must in my book. I also use both fresh and dried herbs: dried at the beginning and then finish off with fresh. Wine or broth for deglazing the pan, and then an optional addition is a Parmesan cheese rind. Once you use up Parmesan cheese, don’t toss the rind! Stash it in the freezer to add to sauces, soups, stews, etc. It adds a lovely depth of flavor.
Let’s begin building the sauce, and we will talk about the finishing touches later, as these have to do with the final tasting and personal preferences.
I always brown my meat and then remove it from the pan. I don’t want ground meat cooking away for over an hour and shrinking up into chewy bits of meat.
Once the meat is cooked and stashed elsewhere, I toss in the mirepoix. I only add the garlic after the mirepoix is almost done cooking because if the garlic becomes too browned it will taste bitter.
Once the veg and garlic are done, deglaze with wine or broth and then add the fresh tomato juice, salt and pepper and dried herbs. This will reduce for about an hour. Then you add the meat back in along with fresh herbs and let it go another 30 minutes so all the flavors can mingle together.
The finishing touches are simple. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. If the tomato flavor is tangier than you want, add about 1 tablespoon of honey. If you want to further smooth out the acidity, add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Voilà! Homemade sauce.
For the noodles, I used my pasta recipe from the post Give Pasta a Chance and ran it through the spaghetti disc.
For instructions on how to assemble the various attachments for this recipe, click HERE. The mixer color featured in this post is Pearl Orange.
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
2 pounds trimmed and cubed meat
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup red wine or chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese rind, optional
1 teaspoon each finely chopped: fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh basil
2-3 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
Fresh basil and parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
Chill the cubed meat and metal parts of the meat grinder attachment for 30 minutes. Once chilled, assemble the meat grinder attachment, turn the speed to the highest setting and run the meat through the grinder.
In a 6 quart Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the freshly ground meat and cook till no longer pink, approximately 5 minutes. Remove meat from pan and set in fridge until ready to use again. Remove any excess fat/liquid from Dutch oven.
Set up the Ankarsrum base with the strainer attachment. Place a large bowl underneath to catch the fresh juice and a smaller bowl to catch the seeds/skins. Wash and core the tomatoes and cut into wedges to fit into the feeding tube of the strainer. Turn the speed onto the highest setting and use the plunger to feed the tomatoes into the strainer. Run the seed and skins through 1-2 more times to maximize juice extraction. You should have approximately 10 cups fresh tomato juice when finished.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine or broth and stir to incorporate any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the fresh tomato juice, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add in the cooked ground meat and fresh herbs. Simmer another 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. If the sauce is too tangy, add a few teaspoons of honey. If desired, stir in 1/2 cup of cream.
Remove Parmesan cheese rind and serve over spaghetti noodles. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.
For pasta recipe and instructions, please see this recipe. Whole wheat version of noodles is also available in link.
Yield: approximately 9 cups sauce