Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Bolognese and Black Garlic

Black garlic is one of those ingredients that I have wanted to cook with for ages. It's made by fermenting regular garlic which turns the cloves black and gives it a great flavour. If you've ever heard anyone go on about Umami, the fifth flavour, the taste that you get from black garlic is what they are talking about. It has a sweet and savoury flavour that almost tastes a bit of balsamic vinegar and goes really well with ingredients such as olives, soy, monkfish, tomatoes, mushrooms and red meats. 

So when I finally got my hands on some, the first thing I tried was using it in a bolognese sauce - it has beef, tomatoes, mushrooms and should work perfectly together. Also, my wife likes adding a bit of balsamic vinegar to her bolognese sauce which always tastes good, so I'm taking a lead out of her book and adding it to this recipe as well.

A lot of bolognese recipes will tell you to simmer your sauce for a couple of hours, I prefer to put it in the oven at a low-ish temperature for a few hours as it cooks it more evenly. I sometimes find that when you simmer the sauce, unless you stir it all every 5 minutes, some bits will cook more than others leaving a few tough bits in the sauce. I know it's traditional to use spaghetti, but i like to use linguini as it has more surface area to soak up the sauce.