I Cooked for Valentine’s Day

It is true, and we didn’t have to call for an ambulance.  I have a secret, I can cook, but I can’t cook for one or two people, if the Fifth Army was stopping by, I could cook.  I once saw a meme that said basically that the only time one clove of garlic is used, is if the recipe was how to cook a clove of garlic, and then just in case, add another clove to the recipe.  I am not a cook, and for sure, I don’t know about measurements, but I try. When my Bride and I decided to split duties, she decided to cook, and I said that I would do the laundry, only because I am fussy and I won’t pay a service to destroy my custom shirts and my mother taught me, the fine art, when I was in elementary school.  And my Bride is thrilled.  

Well, once in a blue moon, I will make my Sauce Bolognese, and the trick is to dice up all the ingredients ahead of time, and I really dice the hell out of them; garlic, onions, red pepper, green pepper, carrots and mushrooms.  Start with a big pot, heat it up and toss in some bacon or prosciutto and get it nice and crispy, first you start off with some nice “smoky” grease to begin with, and then when you pull the meat out of the grease, pat it down a bit, and you have a nice sandwich to get started.  With the “smoky” grease toss in one very large finely diced onion of your choice and lots of diced garlic and as they start to get golden and translucent, time to add about three pounds of ground beef (I like to ask the butcher to grind his “stew meat” twice -see what a pain I am).  Add more garlic, salt and pepper, and a ton of mixed Italian spices, and when it browns up nicely, remove the excess grease that has accumulated, then add all the other diced vegetables.  Then multiple cans of Tomato Paste, Tomato Sauce and Tomato Puree (the finely diced carrots are in lieu of sugar to cut the acidity).  Add more garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, more spices and cook on low heat for at least three hours with a mesh top over the pot.  A third of a bottle of red wine, or in my younger days, I liked almost a can of Molson Canadian beer, the balance for the chef, while he stirs. The other secret, is to take some good Italian hard crusted bread and dip it into the sauce for a sandwich, and then you can determine if you have to add anything more, for some zing.

The wine I used for the sauce and later, for our dinner was from Societa Agricola Le Siepi di San Giovanni Sangiovese Superiore di Romagna DOC 2012. The estate of Le Siepi di San Giovanni is located in the Northern Apennines in the Santerno River Valley near Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.  The Emilia-Romana region is big and it is the only region in Italy that has an East and West Coat.  The estate is owned by the Zuffa family and was started in 1960.  The estate is forty hectares, but only eleven hectares are devoted to vineyards.  The wine is pure Sangiovese and was manually harvested.  I could find no production notes or rules pertaining to Sangiovese Superiore.  I got this wine in 2019, so I have to presume that there were some years of storage, both in barrel and in the bottle.  I tried the wine before pouring it in the sauce, and just kept the bottle uncorked for the next five hours, while the sauce was cooking. The wine was a pretty ruby color, with mulberry and floral notes, On the palate, the wine was still fruit forward with good red fruit, soft tannins and a peppery finish.       

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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