How to make the perfect ground beef sauce – Michelin Chef’s 3 best recipes

Spaghetti with minced meat sauce. Sweden on a plate. We all have a relationship with the law, and we all have our own way of doing it. Joel Åhlin, the star chef behind Agrikultur and co-author of “Köttfärssås,” offers three favorites — for three very different occasions.

One of the first training courses for star chef Joel Olin was the traditional food court at the Opera Cellar in Stockholm. Chefs with Italian credentials were well represented on the kitchen staff, and at a staff lunch, the inexperienced apprentice was invited to his life’s first ragu with tagliatelle. Unlike a childhood overflowing pasta dish with a bit of sauce in the middle, the sauce for ground beef and pasta was mixed together. A “pioneering” experience, according to Joel himself, despite (or perhaps because) he got the planning because he made the mistake of cutting all the pasta with the knife and fork (“only the toothless old people cut their own pasta,” Roed Italian colleagues).

“There, I think ground beef chutney turned out to be something more mature and sophisticated. Something I still carry with me today as with horse lengths is the dish I often cook at home for dinner for my fiancée and kids. Every time I make mince chutney, I make Making a small change to achieve everyday perfection and I don’t think I’m alone. I make ground beef sauce at home once a week. At least.”

He is not alone. When trend leaders and communications agency Food and Friends list Swedes’ favorite everyday dishes each year in their Matrapporten report, spaghetti with minced meat sauce often ranks first.

“Meat sauce is a dish with relatively simple ingredients that can please just about everyone—even the kids. I also think the court’s popularity is based on the fact that it’s easy to make in large batches and freeze. Once you put a batch of ground meat sauce in the freezer, it’s easy to rotate and mix with other dishes.”

Joel had plenty of time to delve into this topic. During the summer of 2020, he and friends Jason Diakité and Harald Wachtmeister decided to write a book about ground beef sauce. An idea that arose out of a food club that was meant to serve as a blanket fire against the scorching boredom of an epidemic that culminated in the new Polish Bible meat sauce.

What is the secret behind the perfect ground beef sauce?

“Give the sauce a few hours on the stove, eat it the next day and stir it around the freshly cooked pasta with the ground beef sauce, a little pasta water and a drizzle of butter. The pasta prepares the sauce with the starch and the result is smooth and creamy.”

What red wine is right for me?

A lighter wine made from Sangiovese grapes or Nerelo Mascalese. The acidity of the wine perfectly matches the sauce for minced meat. Feel free to try our Bollo wine, which perfectly marries the dish.”

Ketchup So, can you have it on your ground beef sauce without getting the evil eye of a chef?

“I don’t use ketchup, except for a few drops of lasagna from time to time. But it’s mostly for testing.”

Joel Åhlin is the star chef behind popular Stockholm restaurants Agrikultur, which has been awarded a Michelin star, and sister restaurant Bar Agrikultur and falafel restaurant. Recipes are from the book Meat Sauce (Mondial) written by Allen with Jason Dickett and Harald Waschmeister.

Photo: Fredrik Skogqvist.

The Fundamentalist: Raju Classico Bolognese 1982

Italians are proud of their rich history in art, architecture, invention, design, music, food and drink. So it’s no wonder that they are keen to organize and protect where things come from, an important work that is constantly carried out with state money. Accademia Italiana della Cucina, a type of food salad, publishes recipes for typical and regional dishes of Italy. In 1982, a recipe for how to prepare a typical Ragù Bolognese dish and what it should contain was published. The taste is very meaty, oily and complex. What might stand out in the recipe is that it doesn’t contain any herbs or garlic. The recipe is optional, whether you want to add cream or not. We can promise it’s delicious no matter what! “

Ingredients, 4-6 people:

300 grams of coarsely ground beef, preferably in the middle of the fence or sirloin
150 g pork side
50 gm yellow carrots
50 gm celery
50 gm onions
300g canned mashed tomatoes or peeled tomatoes
½ cup of red wine
1 cup milk
broth as desired
3 tablespoons olive oil or 50 grams butter
salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cream (optional)

do this:
We cut the side of the pork and let it fry in a frying pan. Add olive oil or butter, onions, carrots, and finely chopped celery. Leave the frying on low heat until the liquid begins to come out of the pan. Put the minced meat in the skillet and stir with a ladle until it turns brown. Add the wine and stir gently until it has evaporated completely. Add tomato paste or peeled tomatoes, cover with a lid and simmer for about 2 hours. Add broth as needed. Towards the end, milk is added to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes. Salt and pepper as needed. When the ragoon is ready, cream is traditionally added if it is to be served with dried pasta. If you are using fresh pasta, no cream is needed.

Photo: Fredrik Skogqvist.

For vegetarians: walnut and mushroom stew

“This unique ground beef sauce contains no meat or vegetable mince. Instead, here we make Trombe Lowell. That is, we fool the eye and even the palate by using finely chopped, well-brown mushrooms and finely chopped walnuts to make a sauce that looks as if it were made from meat. The secret In the sauce is to cut the mushrooms into appropriate small pieces, then fry them for a long time and are good to get the maximum out using the magical umami.There is room here to adjust the amount of walnuts because such a large amount can add some bitterness.But this ragoon gives an incredibly tasty result, and if Skip the milk, Parmesan, or egg paste—it can easily go vegan.”

Ingredients, 4-6 people:
1 carrot
1 yellow onion
1 stalk of pale celery
2 garlic cloves
200 gm of forest mushrooms
100 grams shiitake
100gm oyster slices
1 handful of dried ground funnel chanterelles
1 teaspoon raw sugar
100 g walnuts, peeled and finely chopped
80 gm tomato puree
1 cayenne pepper (but either or none at all goes well)
2 bay leaves
finely grated nutmeg (to taste)
1 deciliter of white wine (to taste)
1 dL of diluted vegetable broth (take mushroom broth if you have it)
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of dried thyme
Few dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
salt

do this:
This dish is the mother of the batutan (hak). There is a lot to hack. Mushrooms, walnuts, carrots, onions and celery in finely chopped pieces. Heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the mushrooms for a long time and thoroughly until a nice color appears on all the mushrooms. This will attract the flavors from the mushrooms and become umami – the base of your sauce. Then add onions and raw sugar. Brown for 5 minutes before adding the carrots, celery, and garlic. Add chopped walnuts. Add tomato paste, wine, bay leaf, broth, thyme, and oregano. Let it simmer for at least 40 minutes. Add more liquid if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with eggless pasta if you’re on a vegetarian diet. A thinner type of pasta like
Tagliatelle or pappardelle emphasizes the texture of the sauce.

Photo: Fredrik Skogqvist.

For flavor: red deer stew with olive oil

“The red deer is the most luxurious game in the forest, an animal that is now found in large parts of southern and central Sweden. The meat is soft and tasty. Buying red minced meat may seem like a big hurdle to overcome, but it is not complicated and can be ordered from, for example, Swedish Farm Game This recipe is a must when it’s a mincemeat sauce party, or when it’s time to impress that person at the party who’s bragging about their bolognese with chicken liver.After a portion of red deer stew that’s been cooked in olive oil with fried sage, that person becomes silent and licking most of his mouth.”

Ingredients, 4-6 people:
2 carrots
1 yellow onion
1 deciliter celery cubes
2 ½ deciliters of light olive oil – it is important that the olive oil is light and flavorful, and should not be strong or bitter
2 garlic cloves
Two sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
500gm minced red deer meat
40 gm tomato puree
One can be full of San Marzano tomatoes or canned cherry tomatoes
½ dl milk
1 deciliter of white wine
3 dL mushroom broth or chicken broth (diluted if using concentrate)
salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Nutmeg
Fried sage: A pot of sage with large leaves | 100 gm butter

do this:
Chop or mix carrots, onions and celery in a food processor. Sweat the vegetables in a little olive oil, then add garlic when the vegetables are tender, pour in the venison and let it cook, stirring. • Add the tomato puree and mix, when the tomato puree is really dark, pour in the wine and bring to a boil, then add the milk and bring to a boil as well. Then in canned tomatoes, broth and rosemary. • Cut the peel of the Parmesan cheese and dip it in the meat sauce. Now you let everything simmer slowly. Pour the olive oil alternately into the minced meat sauce while the liquid boils, and the sauce will turn into good olive oil. Continue soaking in olive oil until sauce reaches desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper and finely grated nutmeg.

Fried sage: Picking leaves from sage. Heat the butter in a saucepan until it boils and turns into a dark brown colour. Fry the sage, a few leaves at a time, in butter for a few minutes, until crispy. Line it up on kitchen paper. Stir the venison rag with the pasta and a little pasta water (tagliatelle or thick spaghetti). Spread over the fried sage and grated Parmesan cheese.

The book “Meat Sauce” by Joel Olin, Jason Dickett and Harald Waschmeister is now out.

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