I am making bolognese for dinner tonight. In the past I have had trouble with oil in the sauce giving it a not very nice oily texture. I tried to limit the amount of oil I used, but I still have oil bubbles on the surface of the sauce.

Is there an easy way to remove the excess oil from the sauce?

For the future how do I prevent the excess?

my recipe is:

teaspoon garlic paste
250gm lean beef mince
teaspoon of peanut oil
handful chopped onion
tin crushed tomato's
one tub of tomato paste
mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste

brown onions, garlic and mince
add crushed tomato's; fill can with water add to sauce
add salt, pepper and herbs
simmer for a few hours stirring occasionally
add tomato paste
stir and simmer for at least 30 mins

serve with preferred pasta

I eventually tried to soak up as much as possible with some paper towel. But I hope there is a better solution.

  • 1
    You might want to provide your recipe and method. When you say oil bubbles, do you mean little slicks of oil on top? A photo wouldn't hurt if you have one.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jul 28, 2013 at 12:44

4 Answers 4


There is only one significant source of fat in the recipe that you have shared: the ground (or minced) meat. The single teaspoon of oil is a fairly trivial amount.

You might wish to drain the ground meat after browning and prior to continuing with the recipe to minimize the amount of fat that ends up in the final sauce.

  • You were right. I remade the sauce today doing two things. I bought lean mince(ground beef) from my butcher rather than the supermarket, and I drained the mince before adding it to the sauce. Worked a lot better. Thank you.
    – combatdud3
    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:11

i uses a couple of slices of bread, just lay it on top of the mince and then leave for a few minutes and then scoop the bread our it absorbs a fair amount of oil. I normally do this twice. I then put the oiled side up on a tray and bake it in the oven till its like toast my kids love that bit (I cut it in too strips and they scoop there mince up with it) :)


I usually make a big batch of bolognese using 3kgs of meat. Ratio: 1kg pork/2kgs beef mince together with all the other required ingredients. After about 3 hours simmering, a big lake of oil forms on the top. I simply scoop it up with a wide flattish ladle and discard. Have been making this dish nigh on sixty years and no one has died from it nor complained.


You can use whatever grade of mince and if you don’t drain your mince it doesn’t matter. All you need to do is add a tablespoon of butter and stir it through in the final stages of cooking, works a treat!

  • Why would adding an oily element help reduce the oil contents of the dish overall? It does not make sense to me.
    – M.K
    Dec 15, 2022 at 12:27

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