I got a bucketload of feedback on the very popular Tequila Bolognese post I did a while back; requests for the recipe literally streamed in. I love to share, so here we go!
What you’ll need… (serves 10 gringos)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
4 cups good quality gold tequila (Jose Cuervo Black Medallion works really well!)
1kg lamb mince
1kg veal mince (beef works just as well, just ensure you get the very best
quality possible – ask your butcher to mince a piece of topside just for
700g pork mince
300g pancetta, rind removed, cut into lardons
3 sprigs of fresh sage
1/4 cup fennel bulb, chopped (you could use celery if fennel bulb is not available)
1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 sachet/tin tomato paste (about 80g)
2 tins whole peeled Italian tomatoes
1 liter lamb or beef stock
1/2 head leek flower, torn (optional)
Coarse black pepper
2 tbsp balsamic reduction (if you can find one flavoured with figs, even better)
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan, and saute the onions and garlic until very soft. As the onions soften, deglaze the pan with 2 cups of tequila. Cook off the alcohol until very little liquid remains. You may at this stage take a wee swig of tequila from the bottle like I did, but pace yourself my darlings, you need to be in good shape in 3 hours to finish the magic off.
While this is cooking, heat a large non-stick pan and cook a kilogram of mince at a time until just browned. You won’t need any oil, as the mince will have a portion of fat in it that will keep it from sticking or being too dry. Transfer to a bowl & repeat the process with the remaining mince. In the same pan, fry the pancetta lardons until brown, and add them to the bowl of mince.
Add all the mince & lardons to the saucepan once the onions are suitably soft & the tequila has cooked off. Turn the pan up to a boil and add the remaining 2 cups of tequila. Again, allow the alcohol to cook off before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Add the sage, fennel bulb, carrots, parsley, tomato paste, whole peeled tomatoes & stock & stir well to incorporate. Place a lid on the saucepan, adjust the heat to low, and leave the meat sauce to cook for 3 hours. The sauce should simmer very gently, not splutter under the lid of the pan. Magic is not angry & spluttery, it is happy and warm and gentle. So your pot should be too.
Once the cooking time is up, add the leek flowers & balsamic reduction & season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with parpadelle or tagliatelle pasta & shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano or Pepato cheese.