Tomato Sauce

How do you cook yours?

I'm chasing the flavor I've accidentally achieved twice by making a braindead simple tomato sauce that consisted of:
>caramelized onions
>tomato juice
>pan-fried minced meat (beef/pork 6/4 split)
>salt and pepper
>flour for thickening
but I can't quite figure out what was the reason it came out as tasty as it did.

I've tried a few "proper" approaches to tomato sauce, and most of them are better than what is *usually* comes out of attempting the sauce above but nothing was as delicious as when I managed to get it right.
Usually it tastes like somewhat like usually cooked Bolognese and I don't think Bolognese tastes particularly good.
Maybe there are some big DOs and DON'Ts with Bolognese I'm fricking up?

I'm wondering if I need more caramelized onions.
I'm also wondering if the meat should be pan-fried harder and boiled in the sauce less.
I do think that replacing the juice with canned tomatoes will end up as an absolute improvement, so I don't really consider using juice anymore.

What cooking tomatoes longer ultimately does to them?
Some sauces are cooked for 10 minutes, some for 12 hours. What does this process try to achieve?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Simplify. I make the stupidest 4-ingredient spaghetti sauce about once every couple weeks. It's easy and really good. It's just olive oil, garlic, a can of San Marzano whole tomatoes and a little fresh basil, and frankly you can leave the basil out or use dried if you don't have any fresh stuff handy. Cooks for 11 minutes, same as the spaghetti. Dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes and it's really good.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      FPBP. This is the correct way to make a quick sauce.

      https://i.imgur.com/bdgL2wP.jpg

      How do you cook yours?

      I'm chasing the flavor I've accidentally achieved twice by making a braindead simple tomato sauce that consisted of:
      >caramelized onions
      >tomato juice
      >pan-fried minced meat (beef/pork 6/4 split)
      >salt and pepper
      >flour for thickening
      but I can't quite figure out what was the reason it came out as tasty as it did.

      I've tried a few "proper" approaches to tomato sauce, and most of them are better than what is *usually* comes out of attempting the sauce above but nothing was as delicious as when I managed to get it right.
      Usually it tastes like somewhat like usually cooked Bolognese and I don't think Bolognese tastes particularly good.
      Maybe there are some big DOs and DON'Ts with Bolognese I'm fricking up?

      I'm wondering if I need more caramelized onions.
      I'm also wondering if the meat should be pan-fried harder and boiled in the sauce less.
      I do think that replacing the juice with canned tomatoes will end up as an absolute improvement, so I don't really consider using juice anymore.

      What cooking tomatoes longer ultimately does to them?
      Some sauces are cooked for 10 minutes, some for 12 hours. What does this process try to achieve?

      >What cooking tomatoes longer ultimately does to them?
      Cooking for a long time is said to bring out the sweetness, but the real purpose is to braise the meat in a meat sauce. There's no point in cooking for more than 10-15 minutes if you aren't braising. You should certainly use whole tomatoes rather than juice. You won't need to thicken.
      Here is a sketch of a recipe for a typical Southern-style meat sauce (i.e., ragù alla napoletana, what Italian-Americans might call Sunday sauce/gravy):
      Some kind of tough meat for braising, I use pork shoulder steaks
      Some kind of quicker cooking meat like meatballs or sausage or braciole
      28 oz can of plum tomatoes like the one in

      https://i.imgur.com/3hzRM5E.png

      (preferably packed in puree rather than juice) or a 28 oz can of tomato puree
      Big can of tomato paste (idr the oz)
      Garlic and/or onion
      Salt
      Herbs (Basil is most important; others like bay and oregano are sometimes added. If you use oregano make sure you don't add so much that it tastes like pizza sauce)
      Red and pepper if you like (I usually use red pepper but not black pepper)

      Brown your braising cut and then sauté your garlic/onion and spices. Add tomato paste, then fill the empty can with water and add that 3 times. Add 28 oz can of tomatoes (if using whole tomatoes you can crush them beforehand but I usually just mash them with the spoon after they've been cooking a while). Fill that 28 oz can 3/4 of the way with water and add that. Add salt and herbs now or later, just don't forget. Some people say you should only add basil near the end. Let this cook very slowly for 5 or 6 hours (I'd say 3 at the very least, but add less water then ofc). Your other meats should be added ~30 minutes before the sauce is done cooking. You can add them straight in or brown them first. Some people like to brown meatballs in the oven. I always brown in another pan and dump them in with the oil and everything.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Plus olive oil, duh.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Interesting suggestion anon, I'll try it out.

        What would you do with the brazing cut itself?
        Pull it apart and reintroduce it back into the sauce?
        Remove it and do something else with it?

        I might consider investing in an enameled cast iron dutch oven so I can do that in the oven.
        I already have a simple cast iron one but it's unsuited for cooking tomatoes.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          You can serve the meats as a separate course or alongside the pasta. It's up to you. I normally do the latter.

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I just use the Escoffier recipe but usually add more aromatics as you wouldn't need them at all if you scale down his ratio to 2 people. It's pretty straight forward but has a lot of white veal fond added.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous
    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous
    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >tomatoes
      :/
      >tomatoes, Italy
      :O

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    If you use canned tomatoes you're no better than the guy using a jar of Classico. You can't call the slop you're making a "sauce", not really.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >implying it's acceptable to buy tomatoes at a store instead of growing them yourself
      You, sir, are a monster and a prostitute.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      canned tomatoes are always better than fresh.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      i like classico 🙂

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >onions
    I would spit in your face if you served me this garbage.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Sorry about your (lack of) taste.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Use salt, sugar, balsamic vinegar and msg to balance the taste. Maybe some chilli flakes if you want the heat, too.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I have tomatoes in my garden, so I'm obligated to preserve them by turning them into tomato sauce.
    The recipe is take ~20-30 kilograms of tomatoes, chop them into quarters or so, put them in a cauldron and boil and mix for hours until they they turn into liquid. Then I have to put it through a sieve to get rid of the skins and boil more until they reduce to an appropriate thickness.
    Then add lots of salt for preservation and pour it into hot jars. Once the jars are lidded, they are kept under a blanket while they slowly cool down. Finally, line the jars up on a shelf in the basement.
    I make about idk, 30 1 litre jars a year. About 15 per batch.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >tomato sauce thread
    >not a single mention of carrots, the most important ingredient
    None of you actually cook and are eating vinegar daily, grim.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >carrots in tomato sauce
      Ehh...
      I've done that for meat sauces.
      It becomes more of a generic sauce instead of specifically tomato sauce.
      It's not terrible but it's a change for the worse IMO.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        If you don't put carrots in your sauce, its going to be vingar. If you're fixing that with sugar or baking soda, that's gross.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          That depends on the type of the tomato, I assume.
          I had literal vinegar results from using only juice but after I started cooking with canned tomatoes the sauce would never end up offensively acidic.
          Plus I'm often adding onions - just sautéed or caramelized - they also add sweetness and take away from "tomatoeness" of the sauce way less than carrot does.
          To be fair, when I made simple pizza sauce with no onions, it did get much better when I added sugar to it, so I see your point.

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