Bolognese: served ~4
braise about 10 beef bones with several smashed cloves of garlic, fresh rosemary and a bit of dry lager, Kirin or Asahi. remove the bones (save!) and rosemary once the liquid has been reduced by 1/2 - 2/3, add a little olive oil and a small mixing-bowl's worth of chopped cherry or grape tomatoes and nice chinese eggplant (sweeter and softer than your standard aubergine). toss and coat with the mix in the pot/wok and simmer for a few minutes. add pinches of salt and pepper, then a splash of dry red wine like Tempranillo or Rioja. simmer the wine down, then add a little prepared tomato marinara and tomato paste (not more than a cup combined). this is your sofrito. once the vegetables have begun to soften, turn up the heat to high and add a half pound of finely chopped beef: this shouldn't be too lean but not chuck either, use whatever you like as long as it's fresh. sear the beef and tomato skins, then turn back down to low-med-low... add 5-6 finely sliced porcini mushrooms, a few sprigs of fresh oregano and thyme, stir and simmer for a bit. taste. maybe a little more wine, if not in the sauce then in a glass for you. if needed, add a little more salt, pepper. I add another tablespoon or three of olive oil (extra virgin, of course) and a small splash (1-2 tsp) of balsamic vinegar to brighten the acid a little. done. the texture should be reminiscent of thick chili and the flavor should be mellow but deep and meaty. serve with (preferably fresh) tagliatelle and the rest of the bottle of wine. some fresh brandywine tomatoes with basil and some aged parmesan on the side make it perfect.