Wednesday, August 20, 2008

remaking memories

once there was a time where i would make a "pot" of meaty red sauce on a pretty regular basis. it was a particular favorite and i can remember hearing leftovers being reheated at 1am or 2am in the morning....while someone was working particularly late. they could eat it every night for multiple nights in a row...and still look forward to the next time i would make it. this went on for years.

i've been honing my red sauce since i was a neophyte foodie hunter. one of my earliest memories of the origins of this sauce involves me standing on a stool in order to see into the pot of my latest iteration....usually inspired by watching saturday cooking shows on PBS. some kids watched cartoons on saturday mornings...i watched cooking shows. figures.

for various reasons, i haven't made my meaty read sauce for a long time. a very long time. a few days ago i decided to retake the memories and make this sauce mine once more. i bought the meat and put it in a prominent place in my that every time i opened the fridge, i would see it. it was a reminder..."you are going to make the sauce...RIGHT?" i'm not very subtle about certain things, not even to myself.

after a conference call meeting with DH this afternoon, i decided to take a break from work and make the damn sauce. well, at least get it to the point where it was simmering away on the stove....i usually simmer it for about 4 hours. so i started by getting the hot oil and bacon going...once that was sizzling away, i added the anchovy fillets and once they started to disintegrate, i added dried sage, chili flakes, thyme, oregano, basil, and a bay leaf. remember, i dry my own herbs and it makes a huge difference. all of these herbs sizzled around in the hot fat. after a few swirls around the pan, then i added chopped onion (one large onion) and about 5 cloves of smashed garlic. once the onions began to become translucent, i added the meat..and in this case it was ground pork (other meats work well with this dish). as the pork was browning and still a little pink, i added some milk and let it simmer away.... at this point, it looked like this....

the dairy helps tenderize the meat. once almost all of the liquid has evaporated, i added some red wine...notice the difference in the color.....

then simmered that until it was almost all evaporated.....and then added the tomatoes......

more herbs (sage, thyme, oregano, and basil) as well as some salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

then it sits for a few hours on simmer...i check and stir it occasionally.

when it was sauce was ready, i added a scoop or two of hearty spicy sauce to some cooked buckwheat pasta (fresh).

there, i have done it. all mine.

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