About this Recipe
By: Chef Pennington
Living in Texas has opened my eyes to the world of flavor. Not just peppers and spicy food, but South American flavors, German flavors. So many ingredients in Texas to explore. This combination led me to create this lovely Texas Bolognese Sauce recipe.
Tips For Picking Peppers That Aren’t HOT At The Grocery Store
–Also How To Prepare Peppers according to how HOT you want them to be–
Peppers with straight stems aren’t as hot as peppers with curved stems
If you look at a pepper like the jalapeno and pay attention to the sides of the pepper. If you see stress cracks. They almost look like bruises. Those peppers are certain to be HOT.
When cleaning/chopping peppers
- The seeds are hot and removing them HIGHLY reduces the HOTTNESS of the pepper’s capsaicin/oils.
- The “rib” is the white part of the pepper which the seeds are attached. This is HOTTER than the seeds.
Texas Bolognese Sauce – Southwest Mirepoix
- Food Processor
- Sharp Knife
- Large Skillet
- 1 medium Vidalia Onion
- 1 large Carrot
- 1 stalk Celery
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper
- 1 Serrano Pepper
- 1 Dried Ancho Chile
- 1 Guajillo Pepper / Dried
- 3 tips Thai Chiles / cut in half lengthwise / No seed or rib
- 1/2 Habanero Pepper / cut in half lengthwise / No seed or rib
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Portobello Mushroom
- 10 Cremini Mushrooms
- 1 tbsp High-Quality Butter
- 4 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 can Tomatoes / I like using whole tomatoes and breaking them up
Preparing The Mushrooms
- Rinse/wash the mushroom off under cold water. Do this quickly as mushrooms will absorb some water. Using a spoon, clean off the spores from underneath the mushrooms. If not, you'll inpart a more earthly flavor profile most will not enjoy. Almost dirty flavor. Remove the spores.
- Next, chop the mushrooms into a small size. We will be saluting them and need the mushrooms the same size for even cooking and appearance. No big chunks.Option: If preparing the vegetarian version, leaving some large chunks might be a nice touch for additional texture. Be sure to double the number of mushrooms to use that amounts to what you like. I would suggest mixing in a few different types of mushrooms. Idea: Try using some dried mushrooms. Place them into warm water to soften. But sure to add some of the liquid to add big flavor. I would suggest tasting the dried mushroom liquid before adding to make sure you think it will work with the recipe.
- Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat, then add the mushrooms. But only add half of them at this point. Add a small pinch of salt and dried thyme at this time.Cook until they have shrunk in size and caramelized, then add the second half and cook them alongside the cooked mushrooms. This ensures the mushrooms get caramelized for maximum flavor. Otherwise, there would be too much mushroom in the skillet and likey just steam.
Making The Base - Southwest Mirepoix
- Set up your food processor close to a cutting board
- Chop the onion, carrot, celery, jalapeno, serrano, guajillo, habanero, Thai chile, ancho, bell pepper, into a size that helps the food processor do its job. Do not add large chunks to a food processor or risk uneven blending.I used half of each pepper and turned out great, but not very hot. If you watch the video you can see how I cut the peppers, ie how much I used exactly.Add each ingredient one at a time to the food processor until everything is smooth/purred.
- Next, add the "base" to the cooked mushrooms and start reducing the liquid. We want to cook off some of the liquid and tighten the sauce up a bit.
- Now add in the ground beef. Add salt and pepper and cook the beef through.
- Next, add in a few tbsp of tomato paste and stir it in. Then add in the red wine and cook off the alcohol.Lastly, I like to add something fresh. I like adding a whole tomato from the can. The canned tomatoes will be soft and the right texture to add with ease.
- After a few minutes and the red wine has cooked into the bolognese sauce TSA: Taste - Season - AdjustDoes it need more tomato paste? Salt? Does the color look good? Add in more tomato paste for a deeper color.Then, there you go. You have Texas Bolognese Sauce