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Do I need to strain off the fat from bolognese?

(35 Posts)
frogspoon Thu 20-Jun-13 20:16:27

I have made bolognese quite a few times, and usually it tastes great (in my opinion it is better than my mum's recipe). We always use high quality lean minced beef from a butcher (as opposed to supermarket)

When I was making it for dinner tonight, my mum popped in as I was browning the meat and told me not to forget to strain off the fat. I have never strained off the fat before, to be honest there wasn't much fat there anyway as it is lean beef, but decided to do so today.

When we sat down to eat, I found the sauce much less flavourful than normal, and the texture wasn't as creamy. I can only assume that removing the fat caused this effect, as I did nothing else differently.

My mum is very paranoid about her health, as both her parents (my grandparents) have died from a combination of diabetes and heart disease. She already has slightly high blood pressure, which is currently being monitored (no medication). She always strains fat off everything, and never adds salt to food. Is straining off the fat likely to make a big difference, bearing in mind that it is already lean meat?

Disclaimer: Our bolognese isn't really a true bolognese as for religious reasons no dairy products are added to the meat sauce, and we also don't add wine. So it's basically minced beef and vegetables (onions, carrots etc) in a tomato sauce. It still tastes nice though (when the fat isn't skimmed off!)

BIWI Thu 20-Jun-13 20:17:34

Fat is where the flavour is.

There is also nothing wrong with fat at all.

Whenever I end up with lean mince, I always add plenty of olive oil.

Mintyy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:17:49

Let your mum do what she wants to do (sounds sensible in her circs) and you do what you want to do. How about that?

NotSoNervous Thu 20-Jun-13 20:18:32

If its me and DP then no but if DD is having some then yes I do

frogspoon Thu 20-Jun-13 20:34:51

Let your mum do what she wants to do (sounds sensible in her circs) and you do what you want to do. How about that?

But when I'm making bolognese that both she and I will eat, should I strain the fat (so it's healthy but lacking in flavour) or keep it in (potentially putting our health at risk)?

Mintyy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:42:12

Does it honestly make that much difference?

cafebistro Thu 20-Jun-13 20:46:53

I strain ther fat off but that's just me. As you say with lean mince there's hardly any fat but with cheaper mince there is loads and I find it makes the sauce really greasy. I used to use cheapish mince but even though I now use lean mince I still take the fat off through habit probably. Maybe your mum uses cheap mince wink .

squalorvictoria Thu 20-Jun-13 21:06:49

Not straining the fat from lean mince won't endanger anyone's health.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 20-Jun-13 21:13:04

I cook in it's own fat (ie I don't add any) and then I strain off any excess (even extra lean makes too much of a slick for my liking).

I can understand her wanting to limit her fat intake,
I can also understand that if you are the cook you want to do it your way.

Can you do it your way for you and her way when she visits to support her healthy eating efforts?

BIWI Thu 20-Jun-13 21:25:08

There is no risk to anyone's health if you don't strain the fat off.

The only risk you take is reducing the taste of the food you're preparing.

bonzo77 Thu 20-Jun-13 21:30:36

No need IMO. I use extra lean mince and brown it with no extra oil. If I had to use fattier mince I would definitely strain the fat off (but not rinse it with boiling water which is what one slightly odd friend of mine used to do). One meal with a little extra fat will not harm your mum.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 20-Jun-13 21:31:46

I am no scientist BIWI but I thought a low fat diet was sensible with a history of heart disease confused .

There is certainly no risk to anyone's health if you do strain the fat off though....

It's a matter of individual taste when it comes to flavour - I find it has plenty of flavour with the fat drained off. It actually makes me feel nauseous to see a slick of orange oil around bolognese.

BIWI Thu 20-Jun-13 21:35:14

You might like to read this blog which talks about the evidence to support high fat diets rather than low fat eating.

CoolaSchmoola Thu 20-Jun-13 21:44:12

I always strain even though I only buy extra lean mince. Not strained gives a greasy mouth feel IMO, and is unpleasant.

Never had a lack of flavour either.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 20-Jun-13 21:50:28

So,according to that blog BIWI it actually could be a risk to health to strain the fat off?

Oh Lord,how on earth are we supposed to keep track with it all?????

(I still don't like fatty mince though,regardless of whether it's good,bad,or indifferent for my health!)

BIWI Thu 20-Jun-13 21:51:30


You might not like fat, of course, which is a different matter!

Vibbe Thu 20-Jun-13 23:29:40

If you were using mince with loads of fat in, then it would probably be worth getting rid of some of the fat.
But for lean mince, I wouldn't bother with it.

PearlyWhites Thu 20-Jun-13 23:31:07

I always rinse Mince in boiling water after frying doesn't everyone do this?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Jun-13 23:34:11

Why the fuck would you rinse it in boiling water?

People are so bloody weird about mince on MN. hmm

OP - I would not strain the fat off. I am also curious as to what dairy would traditionally be added - milk?

PearlyWhites Thu 20-Jun-13 23:35:18

To get rid of the fat ( cold would solidify it) fat is horrible even with lean mince.

PearlyWhites Thu 20-Jun-13 23:36:37

Or is this naice mince we are talking about?

wannabedomesticgoddess Thu 20-Jun-13 23:37:08

When we buy supermarket mince I have to strain it off as there is so much. I hate things swimming in fat.

With butchers mince theres no where near as much. I find myself straining it anyway out of habit, but I dont think it matters.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Jun-13 23:37:53

But you don't just have mince do you? You have some kind of sauce going on, which the fat becomes part of.

Doesn't it make it taste really grim and bland? Fat is flavour.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 20-Jun-13 23:37:57

I brown the mince and drain it on kitchen paper, and I don't find my bolognese bland or tasteless. You can add extra flavour with herbs and tomato purée.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Jun-13 23:38:33

Well I buy my mince from either waitrose or my butcher, so yes probably naice mince.

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