Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bolognese, lentils, and rice

What to cook when you're going out for Christmas drinks with neighbours, and will be back after 8pm, with several glasses of mulled wine inside you and with no enthusiasm for work in the kitchen? A one-pot meal, which you can leave in the oven on a low heat.

The dish above (for 2) consists of a Bolognese sauce (made with 150g of beef mince and 150g of pork mince), Puy-type lentils, and arborio rice. I boiled the lentils (100g) for 10 minutes, then threw in the rice (175g) and allowed the pan to boil for a further 10 minutes. The idea was to leave the lentils and rice slightly undercooked.

I drained them, stirred them into the Bolognese in the casserole, and covered the mixture tightly with kitchen paper (to enhance the effect of the steam in the pot) before putting on the lid. I put the dish in a low oven - I won't give a setting, because my thermostat is not working properly - as we went out; we ate it when we arrived home, two hours later.

(The Bolognese sauce was similar to the mince stew in this cottage pie, only with tomato puree instead of the ketchup.)


elwyn said...

Dear Nicholas,

Your Bolognese/lentil/rice dish looks a hearty follow up after a drink or two of alcohol. I would not have thought to put a meat sauce with the grains. I particularly liked your tip of placing a piece of paper on the top of the dish to add moisture as the melange cooks to avoid it drying out, thank you.

May I take this opportunity of wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

If you have a plum pudding this year don't forget to flame the pudding with vodka and two sugar cubes, ignite and lean your head back to avoid singeing your eyebrows.

Nicholas Clee said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Elwyn.

Vodka! I hadn't thought of that. Do you dissolve the sugar in the vodka, or simply pour the vodka over the pudding and place the sugar on top?

elwyn said...

Dear Nicholas,

Place two or three sugar cubes on top of the pudding, pour a good splash of vodka over them and light.
The more vodka the longer the flames will last and the sugar cubes caramelize. I actually use medicinal alcohol but not everyone can obtain this, so vodka is a good substitute. If you have real holly leaves decorating the pudding these will catch fire, so put them around the pudding. Good flaming, Elwyn,

Nicholas Clee said...

Thanks! Nick

pablopatito said...

Nicholas, is it safe to assume that, unless stated otherwise, you found all the recipes on your blog delicious? I'd hate to make one, find out its not particularly nice, only for you to say 'No, I didn't like it much either'.

Nicholas Clee said...

Good question! I wouldn't post a recipe if I didn't think it worthwhile. But one theme of this blog is that recipes vary under different conditions; and many of the recipes are recreations on paper of dishes I have improvised. So my advice in most cases would be to look on them as general guides rather than strict instructions. That's my get-out clause, anyway.

Best wishes for Christmas and the new year.