Thursday, December 17, 2009

anne burrell's bolognese

There are two categories of cooks: those that follow recipes and those that do not. My sister, for example, falls into the latter group. No doubt about it. But me? Well, see, I think I fall somewhere in between.

Allow me to explain.

I love reading recipes. Every opportunity I get to flip through a magazine or a cookbook, I'm there. If not for inspiration, for an idea of what to serve at my next dinner party. I also love trying recipes out. The first time around, it's more likely than not to a tee and the second time around, I wing it. Tailoring it to what I've got on hand or what my personal preferences (or my guests) are. So I follow and then make it my own.

But then I came across a recipe that stopped me dead in my tracks: Anne Burrell's Bolognese Sauce. Anne Burrell is the bleach blonde, spiky haired, loud and somewhat awkward New York City chef and host of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. While TV may not be her strong suit, food most certainly is.

I first followed this recipe about a year ago for a Sunday Night Dinner. Early that morning I stopped by Esposito & Sons for my ground meat, swung by the produce market for the veggies, and I got to it. Let it be known that this is not a recipe for those without patience. This is a four+ hour commitment and one that I urge each and everyone of you to try. There's something incredibly therapeutic about sitting in a warm kitchen, every few minutes checking in on the progress of your Bolognese, sipping a glass of wine, catching up on your New York magazines, all in the comfort of your pajama pants. Let alone the obnoxiously gorgeous scents of reduced red wine, browned meat and veggies, thyme, and bay bubbling away.

The finished product is a devastatingly thick yet glistening, jewel-toned masterpiece that will literally knock you out. Never have you ever experienced Bolognese like this before. This, my friends, is the Bolognese to end all Bolognese's.

So why not take this weekend, as I will once again, as an opportunity to try out this recipe. Follow the directions closely. Do not stray away. And prepare to have your mind and mouth blown away. And I mean that in the best way possible.

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