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Milk in Bolognese?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Once again, my pre-concieved notions of what constitutes a specific dish from (this time) Italian cuisine, has been breached. It's funny how the older I get, the less I know, up to and including the things I thought I knew.

Okay - so Bolognese sauce is supposed to be a light pink color? I'm fine with that, but I wish my father had told me he was utilizing names that sounded authentic for the food we did at my family's restaurant in the 80s, rather than permitting me to believe I had learned a few culturally specific dishes, rather than his very good sauces, which (as I said) he'd given region to, in order to write the menu. Make no mistake about it...I grew up cooking with my dad at home, that was one of the few things we consistently had time for, as eating and survival are somehow tied to each other. He worked in restaurants, that's where I get the idea that this lifestyle is okay from, but I digress.

The issue at hand is Bolognese, and not having yet turned to LaRousse, Bastianich, or Hazan, I consult your professional opinions. I see Bolognese as follows
1. Pancetta
2. Ground Pork
3. Ground Veal
4. Mirepoix
5. Garlic
6. R.Wine
7. Tomatoes (juice, etc.)
8. Bay Leaf and dry herbs and spices

That is up until yesterday, when milk was thrown into the mix. Maybe it's a regional American thing, and maybe not. Tell me what you think, and whether or not you do it.

And lastly, the more difficult question; Is there a chemical risk of curdling this sauce, should any precautions be taken beyond pre-scalding the milk to adjust acid?


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post #2 of 5
My grandmother swore by cream. Milk was as she put it "cheap". Then again this sauce was always for "special" occasions. Plus the milk she said always curdled. Hers also included ground lamb, proscuitto in place of the pancetta and ground beef in place of veal. She also only used fresh basil. No bay or additional spices.

Then again I always said "Italian recipes are like solitare. There's a different way to play the game for everyone out there."
post #3 of 5
From every recipe I have ever seen or been taught, milk is traditional. Not much though. Just a bit to help smooth out the acid and richening it up a bit. The real key to bolognese is the long slow cooking process.
post #4 of 5
Pete like I said it's kinda like solitare. But my Grandmother was so Italian she rarely spoke English and if she did speak English it was very hard to understand here. Tradition to an Italian is what what ever your family did on consistant basis so.... Every families tradition was different.:D
post #5 of 5
The few recipes that I've read have used the milk as something that's added the ground meat when browning and is cooked out. It's supposed to add a creamier texture and flavor without being milky or creamy.
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