Recently, we saw Michael Pollan talk at the Opera House. He was awesome.
The things he spoke of were not new to me. Ideas about eating locally grown produce; not eating too many refined “white” foods; avoiding foods so artificial that our grandmothers wouldn’t recognise them as food… But there was one line which stuck with me above all others:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
(I’ll be referring to more of his clever quotes and ideas in the future, but it’s Wednesday, and I need an early night!)
So here is my Pollan-inspired version of bolognese, made with “mostly plants”. It reminds me of my step-mum’s vege pasta sauce – made from broccoli, celery, carrot, zucchini, tomato, oregano and basil – which was the only way she could get me to eat vegetables when I was little. It’s now one of my favourite comfort foods.
This recipe is featured on Masterchef Food Hub
- 300g organic beef mince
- 2 or 3 anchovy fillets in oil
- 1 small eggplant (or half a giant one)
- 3 large portobello or swiss brown mushrooms
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 brown onion
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- 2 x 400g tins good quality (local!) tomatoes
- 1 cup milk
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- Finely dice the onion, fennel, carrot, mushrooms and eggplant (keep separate).
- Heat some olive oil a large saucepan and fry the anchovies until melted.
- Add garlic, allow to become fragrant, then add the onion and fennel. Allow to soften.
- Add the mince and break up with a wooden spoon.
- When browned, add the carrots, mushrooms and eggplant. Saute for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the milk and reduce heat to a simmer. (This step of cooking the meat in milk before the adding the acidic ingredients ensures it becomes tender and soft.)
- When milk has been absorbed/evaporated, tip in the tomatoes, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
- Add a dash of red wine vinegar towards the end if it needs a bit of a lift.
Mr Black declared this dish to be “amazing”. Not bad for a Wednesday
- Lamb shanks braised with pomegranate, balsamic, tomato and bay (scoffandquaff.me)