One thing I don’t mind about working from home full-time is the ability to cook food on the weekdays. Pre pandemic, I mostly did most of our cooking on Sundays, but given the flexibility of work, time between meetings, and a lack of commute, now I have more time to cook on the weekdays. Oftentimes, with just a little prep work, I can toss things into my Instant Pot or oven, and food will be ready for dinner time. One thing you never think you can make on a weeknight would be bolognese, a rich, meaty, Italian sauce that usually takes hours and hours to braise over a low flame on the stove. I tried finding recipes to allow it to be made in the Instant Pot, but they seemed too tomato forward. My favorite Bolognese has always been the ones that use tomato paste vs. several cups of canned whole tomatoes. In that sense, it’s more of a hearty meaty sauce with tomato flavor rather than a tomato sauce with meat in it.
So I decided to use a bolognese recipe that uses white wine, two small cans of tomato paste, and for the beef, I used the remaining two pounds of wagyu minced beef I picked up from Costco. During lunch time at around noon yesterday, I got the base of the sauce made while eating lunch (with all the mirepoix prep the night before). Then, between meetings and work tasks, I would take a little time to stir the mixture occasionally and replenish the water when needed. By the time 5:15 rolled around, the bolognese had already been stewing for over four hours, and all that was needed was the pasta to get cooked.
Four-hour-plus braised homemade tagliatelle bolognese on a weeknight. That is definitely a pandemic-era meal.