Monday, 2 February 2009

About that Spag Bog

I like to use the term "Spag Bog", because I doubt very much that any self-respecting citizen of Bologna would recognise my variant. Or rather, variants. I am not sure if I've ever made the same spag bog twice. What a "spag bog" is, is a tomato and minced meat pasta sauce, with Italian herbs. All other facets may vary. It's not easy to go wrong. I've never made an inedible one, except when I forgot about one and burned it.

The one I made last week featured kangaroo, and three different colours of capsicum. I also had a couple of little zucchini from the garden. They were lovely, much crisper than the usual ones. Bayleaves also come from the garden.

Here's my "recipe". Such as it is. Which it isn't.

Recipe: Generic Spag Bog Sauce
* Minced meat {lean beef, kangaroo, pork & veal, turkey, chopped up leftover roast beef etc}
* Baconish meat (optional) {bacon, prosciutto, ham etc}
* Alliums {garlic, onion, shallot, spring onion etc}
* Oil {olive, bacon fat, sunflower etc}
* Veggies to be cooked soft {mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, carrot, celery etc}
* Tomatoes {fresh, tinned, roasted, paste, puree, sugo etc}
* Herbs {oregano, basil, bayleaves etc}
* Spices {pepper, chilli etc}
* Liquids {stock, wine, brandy, water, tomato juice etc}
* Other flavour agents (optional) {salt, sugar, balsamic vinegar}
* Veggies to be cooked crispish (optional) {capsicum, zucchini etc}

Fry up the alliums in the oil.
Add any of the soft-cook vegetables that need browning.
Add the meat (and optional bacon) and keep stirring until browned.
Add tomatoes, liquids, herbs, spices.
Simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Taste and adjust flavours if need be.
Add in the last minute veggies for crispness while the pasta boils.

The proportions are left entirely to your own sense of culinary aesthetics. If you like it heavy on meat and light on veggies, or vice versa, go for it. I have done this with as little as 250g meat for 8 servings. Grated eggplant and finely chopped mushrooms do quite a good meat masquerade, if you want a vegetarian version. A half teaspoon of brown sugar helps if your tomatoes are too insipid - which fresh non-premium supermarket ones can be.

PS: Don't forget about the wonderful handmade market coming up at the Albert Hall next weekend. I'll be at the coast, so I'll have to miss it. Dang.

PPS: Look at me posting on a Monday morning. This unemployment thing is looking good so far.


Market Girl said...

Oh My Gosh,

you are going to miss Handmade! I was so hoping to meet you.
Put May 23rd in your diary, maybe you could be our guest judge for merchandising? Please....

May is the Handmade "Winter Warmer"


JenMeister said...

Thanks for the heads up on the craft market :) I hadn't heard of it! :o