I have a bolognese sauce recipe that says to cook a mixture of pork and beef stew meat, and then mince the meat. With garden tomatoes in season, I would like to make a very large batch to either freeze or can, but I am dreading the thought of mincing all this meat. Is there a recommended way to use a food processor or some other machine to do this for me? I am concerned that if I do it incorrectly, the meat will turn into sausage and have a very different texture in the sauce.
A food processor works well. Just fill the bowl lightly so that you can watch what happens as you do quick pulses. Use the metal blade. Slow short pulses. It also helps if the meat is really cold but not frozen. Yum.
When I read Bolognese, I was thinking of the slow cooked meat sauce. Is this the case? You have probably eaten and digested it by now. If not, I'm thinking what your recipe meant by 'mincing' the cooked meat, is considered breaking up the ground meat as it cooks. You want to keep all those flavors in the pan. I sometimes use a pastry cutter but I wouldn't recommend it. It puts your hands too close to the heat. I have seen the perfect tool. It looks like what you might use to brand an X on something. It looks like a potato masher, but the surface is beveled for better 'mincing'. As you cook more and more, tools become precious. The older, the better.
So, it's not using a machine, but here's a trick to consider if you don't have a food processor:
- Let the meat cool down (possibly tent it and put it in the fridge)
- Cut the meat into thin slices across the grain.
- Crumble the slices into the pot. (should be easy if it's cold & cut across the grain. It should also break up more as it cooks down in the liquid)