Everybody Loves Bolognese

It is a life’s challenge to perfect the Bolognese sauce. The classic Italian home cooked sauce gives a ragu alla bolognese in its most basic form: minced steak, onion, celery, carrot and tomato purée, cooked for an hour and a half with a little water to keep it moist.

What about the extras? Chicken livers and chopped bacon or uncooked ham, in addition to the usual vegetables, plus white wine, stock and tomato purée have all been included in the many published recipes.

The other key additions are the dairy products, which feature milk, fresh cream and double cream. Although the flavour is barely detectable in the finished sauce, some few hours later in the oven, the milk does add a definite sweetness which works well with the bright, fresh flavour of the white wine it accompanies.

As for the wine, there is no doubt that red wine definitely looks the part: much darker than the other recipes, and far richer and more savoury in flavour.

In the end, cooking from the heart will always give an “authentic” taste to this much loved dish.

This recipe was tried and tested AND it was pretty amazing, if you don’t mind 3 to 4 hours of long and slow cooking time.

How do you like your Bolognese?

Generous slabs of butter
200g smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
2 onion, finely diced
2 carrot, finely diced
4 sticks celery, finely diced
500g coarsely minced beef, at room temperature
100g chicken liver, finely chopped (optional)
300ml whole milk
Nutmeg, to grate
300ml dry red wine
2 tins whole tomatoes

  1. Melt the butter in a large casserole set over a gentle heat, and then add the bacon. Once the bacon fat has started to melt, add the onion, and cook gently until softened, then tip in the carrot, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the celery and cooking for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Crumble the beef into the pan and brown, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps. Season, then stir in the liver, and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 125C. Pour in the milk, and grate a little nutmeg over the top. Simmer gently until almost all the milk has evaporated, which should take about half an hour.
  4. Pour in the wine and the tomatoes and stir well. Put the casserole into the oven, with the lid slightly ajar, and cook for at least 3 hours (4 is even better) until the meat is very tender. Check on it occasionally. Serve with pasta or gnocchi, and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.

 

spaghetti

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Good Truffle Hunting

Calling all truffle lovers!  The truffle season will commence in June and the shortest distance to travel to truffle hunt is in Canberra. The Truffle Festival – Canberra Region is just weeks away from opening! To die for dinners, live and local truffle hunts with helpful hounds, or cooking classes will turn your winter into truffle shuffle. And that’s just the start of it! This annual event will have something for every taste, tastebud and budget. Even the kids will love it!

To kick off the season, a live truffle hunt with growers and their dogs is a must. Spend a weekend or just a day hunting, searching, sniffing and collecting. The whole family will love it!  Hunts are available at Macenmist Black Truffles and Wines (Bredbo), Turalla Truffles (Bungendore), Tarago Truffles (Tarago) and Blue Frog Truffles (Sutton). Hunts will take place most weekends during winter and involve extras like lunches, tastings and cooking demonstrations.

Basic Truffle 101

So What Is a Truffle?

Truffles are a kind of subterranean fungi, meaning they are a mushroom that grows underground. Truffles are still hunted by pigs, which is the traditional way to find them, but these days more and more dogs are being recruited for the job as they can be trained to not eat the little prizes.

What Kinds of Truffles Are There?

There are two kinds of truffles that are most popular in the cooking world: black and white truffles.

Black truffle is a variety that was originally found in the Périgord region of southwest France. The black truffle is commonly used in all sorts of dishes, such as foie gras and soups. It is also turned into a luscious oil that can be drizzled over almost anything to enhance its

White truffle is an Italian mushroom. This variety was originally found in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, in the countryside around Alba. They are used in a variety of dishes, such as risotto and seafood and can be turned into flavoured oil just like their French counterparts.

What Do Truffles Taste Like?

While all truffles have an earthy flavour, each kind has its own distinct taste and fragrance; white truffles have a creamier taste, while black truffles are known for their woody notes. If you are interested in experimenting with truffles, you should consider picking up a bottle of truffle oil. There is nothing quite like the taste of a truffle, and even a light dab of truffle oil can give a dish a new tastebud.

PS. Chocolate Truffles Are Edible…But Are Not MushroomsJ

Check out Truffles Festival in Canberra between June and August!

http://www.trufflefestival.com.au/

 

What’s happening in Autumn?

If you’re looking for the very best in fresh produce – and who isn’t? – then look no further than Eastwood’s favourite greengrocer. Our resident rockstar buyer, Joe Coluccio will be bringing you the freshest and best quality produce everyday.

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Although you may not know it from the weather, Autumn is well underway, bringing an abundance of colour and taste to your table. Now is the time to take advantage of the myriad colours and flavours and form a closer connection with nature, as local produce celebrates the season with an array of inspiring tastes and hues.

Addition is the time forthe iconic pumpkin to shine. Perfect for everything from soup to scones, Butternut is the go-to variety and is sure to improve any recipe. Use high heat to caramelise the natural sugars, char on the grill or add to stir fries.

pumpkins

Capsicums are also looking impressive after a long warm summer. Just like with people though, capsicum skin wrinkles with age. For the best capsicum, look for firm and glossy selections. For the sweetest taste go for the red caps, or choose the vine grown baby caps for minimal seeds.  Team your peppers with velvety, crisp green beans and firm zucchini, both of which are at their best in March-April.capsicums

For the absolute foodie, Birch Bolete mushrooms are rumoured to be the most flavoursome in the world, but are in limited supply (March–May). Be sure to cook them thoroughly, as they are not suitable for raw consumption. If unavailable, shitake, king brown and enoki offer great seasonal flavours.  For the adventurous, wild varieties can be foraged, but remember to be safe and go with a guide.

No Autumn spread is complete without a sumptuous dessert, and this year nature will not disappoint. Blackberries, lemons and pears complement the season’s mains perfectly, not just in colour but also in zesty taste.  Preserve blackberries early in the season to ensure your winter desserts are just as delicious. Be sure to watch for late Summer crops that have been maturing gently, storing their sweetness until just the right moment. Watermelon and strawberries (particularly in Southern states) have grown to a perfect flavor.

strawberries

With your appetite tempted by thoughts of traditional Autumn fare, take your seasonal table on an exotic journey with the fabulous, lesser known fruit feijoa (fay-yoh-uh). Originally from Brazil, it looks like a cross between a lime and a passionfruit, but tastes like a blend of pineapple, guava and strawberry. It’s an exotic taste that may be just what your palate was craving. Select feijoa that are fragrant and slightly soft, then cut and scoop to eat, or even add to cooking. There are currently around seven varieties grown in Australia.

Before the weather cools and the season gets colder, take a moment to celebrate the riot of colour currently on display. Enjoy the changing of the seasons by combining late summer harvests with the cosy and comforting flavours of Autumn for a uniquely flavored experience.

 

Seasonal highlights:

Lemons, plums, rhubarb, mandarins, pears, blackberries, figs, persimmons.

Capsicum, beans, zucchini, beetroot, brussels sprouts, tomato, fennel, pumpkin, mushrooms.

Meet Joe Bova

Joe Bova understands the importance of family support and respect. He grew up learning and working in his father’s fruit shops all over Sydney. While his friends continued with their studies, Joe left school as soon as he could to work full-time. The fruit and veggie business was definitely in his blood. As a ‘Greengrocer Kid’ growing up in an Italian family, Joe was brought up around the best and freshest food. Joe knows what the customer wants and he always delivers.

There is no denying the uniqueness of Eastwood Superfresh. Packed with customers, this old fashioned fruit shop is often busier than rush hour at Central Station. The merchandising is premium, mountains of produce are piled high and the unmistakable scent of fresh fruit and veggies hits you as soon as you step in to the shop

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Joe is married to his childhood sweetheart and has three gorgeous children. Sunday and public holidays are family days. The store is closed so staff and management are not restricted or obligated to work – a rare policy in the fresh produce industry. Then again, Superfresh is a rare store.

Customers can often find Joe working on the floor alongside his amazing team. Superfresh is a family owned business and, driven by a desire to provide the community with the freshest and best produce available, production never stops.

for more info on Joe and the Superfresh family go to http://www.superfresh.net.au/aboutus.html

 

Supporting Local Farmers

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Eastwood Superfresh takes pride in sourcing the best produce for our customers. Supporting our local farmers is important to us. Meet our growers and discover for yourself where some of our produce come from – direct from farmer to shop.

 

We have been supporting and dealing with our growers for over 12 years, and we are proud of the fresh quality and service delivered, we are excited to pass that quality and service onto you, our valuable customers.

Check out our suppliers at:

http://www.superfresh.net.au/localfarmers.html