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To think that when you make a spag bol

(329 Posts)
HelloCanYouHearMe Sat 07-Jan-17 18:00:46

You fry the mince off first?!

DP rarely cooks & tonight has decided to do spag bol and is following a Jamie Oliver recipe (which in itself is U afaic)

The recipe has him frying off onion, celery, carrot, garlic... so far, so good. Then it goes on to say to throw in the minced beef & 2 cans to tomatoes, water from 2 cans and simmer for an hour.

The hour is up & DP asked me to taste - the casserole dish is swimming in liquid & tbh all i can taste is powdery boiled mince envy <- not envy

What can i do to rescue this? ive told him to leave it on the hob for another 45 mins with the lid off, have chucked in a beef stock cube and tomato puree... but its still there... the texture of the beef is just...erugh!

Surely browing the meat is Spag Bol 101? The first thing you are taught at chef school? AIBU?!

divinemintthins Sat 07-Jan-17 18:02:26

I don't. I made two vast pots of ragu this week with 6lb of mince and I don't brown anything other than the onion and garlic. It cooks in my slow oven for 6 hours and is delicious.

VintagePerfumista Sat 07-Jan-17 18:02:38

Bleargh. So you're having boiled mince. Yum.

Sling an oxo cube in it. Might help.

I was fed boiled mince lasagne by my cousin over Christmas. I coped, but I don't think my (Italian chef) husband will ever recover. grin

NormaSmuff Sat 07-Jan-17 18:03:21

i brown it, then tip out the fat

VintagePerfumista Sat 07-Jan-17 18:03:24

blush boiled mince comment was to OP. <runs away>

MochaChocaChino Sat 07-Jan-17 18:05:38

Try adding a teaspoon of Marmite to help, it gives a more "beefier" flavour. Haters of Marmite don't notice it either smile

dollydaydream114 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:06:00

That does sound like a weird way of doing spag bol, yes. Has he definitely read the recipe correctly? Or could there be a line missing from it?

I must confess that I really hate Jamie Oliver, so irrationally refuse to cook his recipes.

divinemintthins Sat 07-Jan-17 18:06:01

grin Vintage.

I buy minced steak from my butcher, he minces a load of steak in front of me, very little fat.

zzzzz Sat 07-Jan-17 18:06:06

Soya sauce will give you some of the umami you are craving. Yes of course brown the mince first. Jamie Oliver is a twit if he boils mince envy <def not envy

HelloCanYouHearMe Sat 07-Jan-17 18:06:16

Yep.... im having boiled mince tonight & tomorrow night too apparently.

Ive had slow cooked spag bol before and it was horrible... this hasnt been slow cooked and its grim

But i cant say anything cos DP tried and was so proud

Cel982 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:06:29

I've followed other Jamie recipes (beef stew, I think?) where he's described how he's stopped browning meat for stews as he thinks it tastes better. But yeah, I'd imagine with mince it's much nicer when fried off first.

(Found the link -

IHaveBrilloHair Sat 07-Jan-17 18:07:04

That sounds rank.
I base mine on Delia's rage, but use slow cooked brisket in place of mince.

IHaveBrilloHair Sat 07-Jan-17 18:08:02

Ragu, not rage!

zzzzz Sat 07-Jan-17 18:08:33

Boiled unbrowned meat stew....Who let that twit in a kitchen

TurnipCake Sat 07-Jan-17 18:08:55

My friend's ex once made spag bol by cooking mince with the lid on (WTF is the point of that, browning = flavour!) and then added raw, chopped onion to the mix

Definitely brown the meat

Clawdy Sat 07-Jan-17 18:09:09

I've never fried mince, it's not boiled unless you only add water. I add passata or tinned tomatoes plus veg and let it simmer. Always tastes nice.

Wolpertinger Sat 07-Jan-17 18:09:27

You brown the mince - otherwise you just have boiled mince- eurggghhh!

Get rid of all the water, chuck Oxo cubes and Worcestershire sauce in it like there's no tomorrow, anything you can find with flavour - a bit of balsamic vinegar, anything.

Why all the water as well? I have soffrito, mince, wine, tomatoes. No wonder it tastes watery confused

HelloCanYouHearMe Sat 07-Jan-17 18:09:49

dolly I double checked the recipe and there is no mention of browning the mince

Id tweet JO to ask what the hell he was thinking, but the last time i tweeted him it did not end well may have called him a sanctimonious prick

Brighteyes27 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:10:01

The JO bolognese is lovely I follow the recipe but use slightly less water and also add an oxo cube. Must admit I was a bit dubious the first time I didn't brown the mince but it tasted lovely. Your DH did add salt & pepper & all required herbs?

goose1964 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:10:59

Add tomato puree and more herbs

SumThucker Sat 07-Jan-17 18:11:00

I've made that Jamie Oliver recipe, the two cans of water is way too much, you need a quarter of one can.

QuackDuckQuack Sat 07-Jan-17 18:12:14

Maybe that's why Jamie Oliver is having to close restaurants.

BitOutOfPractice Sat 07-Jan-17 18:13:04

Yes, try and pump it up while DH isn't looking. More salt might help. Worcester sauce?

What a damn shame when he's tried his best

britbat23 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:13:42

The purpose of browning the meat is to get the flavour of browned meat (lovely umami thanks to the Maillard reaction). So you are missing out on some flavour by not frying first but if cooked for long enough it shouldn't have that bad an effect.

It's not "boiled mince" if you are slow cooking it in tomatoes etc for several hours, but two hours isn't long enough for a bolognese. Four at minimum in this house; six, ideally.

HelloCanYouHearMe Sat 07-Jan-17 18:14:22

Ive managed to reduce the liquid but the oxo cube and puree have done nothing.

I refuse to put worcester sauce anywhere near a spag bol, even when it tastes as bad as this

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