The Wicked Newfoundlander has returned from "The Rock" and many a wicked scoffs were had. The culinary highlights included two outstanding trips to Bacalao (http://www.bacalaocuisine.ca/) in St. John's (once for brunch and once for dinner), excellent fish and chips out around the bay at CJ's (formerly Taylor's) in Green's Harbour, freshly caught Atlantic salmon on the grill (caught by my father-in-law, under the guidance of my uncle on the Exploits) , seafood chowder with cod, scallops, salmon, shrimp and clams....and of course fresh pan fried cod, tongues and cheeks cooked just hours after it came out of the water. It was a wicked feed!
While I'll write more and post some pictures of some of the events of the vacation, for now I'll post a recipe for Bison Bolognese that I whipped up the other night after returning home. The house was mostly void of veggies but I did have the staples of onion, carrot, celery and garlic on hand, as well as a vacuum pack of fresh North Dakota ground bison.
A bolognese sauce (from the Bologna region of Italy) is a meaty(usually beef) ragu sauce served over pasta, made with onion, celery and carrot, a surprisingly small amount of tomato, a drop of white wine, and sometimes finshed with a little milk or cream. While my version is not 100% authentic, it is most definately a ragu made in the spirit of a bolognese sauce.
Even though this dish does not contain bolonga (aka Newfie steak) I think it will appeal to Newfoundlander's and New Englander's because it is a great recipe to incorporate game into your diet. While I have used farm raised bison, which is very lean and flavorful, ground moose, caribou or venison would be excellent in this dish. The dish starts with a trinity of aromatics, onion, celery and carrot ( called a mirepoix) that is common in cuisine all over. While this ragu is Italian, a mirepoix is a common base for many Newfoundland and New England soups and stews.
In a deep skillet (preferably one with a lid), saute until tender over a medium heat
- 1/2 a yellow onion, minced
- 1/2 a red onion, minced
- 1 large rib celery, minced
- 2 carrots, diced small
in 2 TBSP olive oil
While these aromatics are cooking, prepare
- 1/2 a red bell pepper, minced
- 3 cloves, minced or crushed
- 2 plum tomatoes (or 1 larger tomato), diced
Once the aromatics are soft, push them to the sides of the pan leaving an opening in the middle. Increase the heat to medium high. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil and add 1 pound of the ground bison (or meat of choice) and let it stay there for a minute or two so it gets some colour and carmalization. With a wooden spoon, break the meat apart, add the garlic, pepper and tomato, and mix well.
At this time I like to season the pot with a little kosher salt and black pepper, 2 TBSP of Worcestershire Sauce, and 2 TBSP of red wine (next time I think I will try some Newfoundland partridgeberry or blueberry wine!) to deglaze the pan, followed by 1 large can of crushed tomatoes. Add 1 Tbsp of dry Italian herb seasoning, and if you like some heat (like I do) add some crushed red chili flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for one hour. Taste for seasonings (salt and pepper) and add chopped fresh parsley for colour and freshness. Serve over a long, thin pasta like spaghetti (I use a multigrain) and top with some freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, a hard and salty Italian cheese. If you don't have it use Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which you should have in your fridge at all times in my mind...lol.
This dish was even better the next day when I had it for dinner again. I actually had it for dinner three times total last week and once for lunch. I can't wait to make it again! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.
This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.