Bolognese or köttfärssås?

Another request from a talented athlete, Edvin. When he saw my post on Instagram, he asked for the difference in my opinion between bolognese and köttfärssås. As some would say, it’s the same thing. But my perspective is that the two are very different for me and others who do a lot of cooking. The Swedish köttfärsås actually has its heritage in the bolognese from Italy, during the labor immigration during the 1950s.

According to my view and experience, köttfärsås is more of a quick and easy bolognese. Everyone in Sweden is familiar with it. Köttfärsås vary a lot in Sweden since there is no straightforward recipe from the start, and how we cook it depends on personal taste. For example (a really bad one), in the last 20 years schools have started to add shredded carrots in the köttfärsås (BIG NO FOR ME) they serve in school.

But the main ingredients from my point of view are meat (Pork or beef), some kind of tomatoes (Crushed most often), cream, pepper, and salt. After that, some people like to add mushrooms, corn, shredded carrots, and ketchup (very common). This is made in a regular pan or frying pan with high edges. My mom and dad did this all the time and I can really enjoy it. But there is not that kind of depth in the taste and not the same satisfaction in the mouth. It tastes good but it tastes somewhat like an easy and quick dinner (Still nothing wrong with that).

Bolognese, however, has a much deeper taste and tastes more like an “expensive” dinner and more satisfactional on the tongue. A bolognese has a lot more steps to it in order to bring those fantastic ingredients together and it should as well simmer for a long time. I make mine by chopping fine onions and carrots in my mixer (Should be celery as well but broke studentlife you know), mincing it to more like a paste. Then letting that paste broil in a cast iron skillet with some olive oil. After that, I add some tomato puree (a lot) and red wine (I prefer red wine, a deeper taste) and let it simmer for a few minutes. In another pan at the same time, I’m frying my meat (pork and beef mixed).

When it’s brown edged I pour it down into the main pan with the vegetable mix and add the crushed tomato and some beef broth and stock. Later when this is done it’s kind of a freestyle. You can add spices like oregano or thyme. But you can also add more red wine and
tomato puree. I like to add pasta water for a thicker sauce and also most importantly let it simmer for a long time, usually for 1 hour approximately. This enhances the flavors and makes the sauce more creamy and thick. When it’s time for plating, don’t forget the holy moly parmesan cheeeeeeeese.

So in the end it comes down to ingredients and cooking time. If you’ve only done köttfärssås, I strongly suggest you try to do bolognese because you will never look back after it. It’s cheap, easy to do, tastes a lot better, and is great for lunch boxes.

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