Why is it grass-fed beef bolognese? We overheard this question asked by a middle school student, reading our food label on the lunch line. We love to inspire dialogue about the food we eat, to inspire questions that may lead to better, healthier and more sustainable food choices outside of lunch. Cow’s love to eat grass, and they grow happy and healthy when they get to eat it. This student on this day, learned that many cows are fed grain instead, which isn’t healthy for the cow, or for us. He also learned that we have his best interest in mind. Thanks to our Chef Nicholas, for sharing this recipe – perfect warming, strengthening delicious sauce for these late winter days.
2lb grassfed ground beef
2 can ground tomato
1 small can tomato paste
1 large onion
1 large carrot
6 cloves garlic
2 fresh bay leaves
¼ cup dried sweet basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tblsp kosher salt
Dice the onion into small 1/4 inch pieces, set aside and reserve. Peel and roughly cut the carrot into ½ inch pieces and transfer to a food processor along with garlic. Pulse food processor until contents are very finely minced. (If you do not have a food processor you can finely mince by hand).
In a stainless steel or other non-reactive pan, heat oil over medium-high to shimmer point. (Shimmer point is a temperature that is reached over 300F that will cause the oil to look as if it has very small waves or is shimmering). When this temperature is reached add onions and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions become translucent. It is important to stir constantly for this step as you do not want the onions to caramelize. When the onions have become translucent add the onion and garlic mixture. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for an additional two minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly.
Crumble in beef and cook until beef no longer holds a shape. Add the 2 cans of ground tomato and 1 can worth of water. Add the herbs. Bring to a simmer stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. When the sauce comes to a simmer, set your timer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not turn down the heat, and do not cook longer than 45 minutes. Contrary to popular belief, long cooking periods caramelize sugars and break down the acids in the tomatoes, you want the acid for a counterbalance to the richness of the beef)
Serve over your favorite pasta, or rice and enjoy!