My standard bol recipe used to include red wine, salty bacon, milk and sometimes chopped chicken liver. Sounds a little voodoo when it’s all written down and it was a bit too intensely savoury for a baby. It also involved finely cutting up loads of stewing steak. When you’ve just got a small amount of free time in a day, spending most of it cutting up meat is less appealing.
Serves 6 (we had 3.5 for dinner and leftovers for lasagne)
500g minced beef
300g minced pork
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery diced
leaves from a spring of rosemary, finely chopped
glug olive oil
200ml boiling water
Low salt beef stock cube
Grinding of pepper, grinding of nutmeg
2 bay leaves
Fry (or ‘sweat’) the onions, rosemary and garlic in the olive oil, adding the other veg and cooking for around another 5 minutes. Transfer to a large saucepan or casserole and brown the meat in batches. Add to the veg and then pour over the passata and water, crumble in the stock cube and season, tucking in the bay leaves. Bring to a steady boil and then cook in a very low oven (140 degrees or an Aga simmering oven) for around 3-4 hours. You might need to bring it onto the hob at the end to reduce it a bit.