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Just because it’s pasta with meat sauce….

Doesn’t mean it’s fucking Bolognese.

I picked up some pasta from a spot downtown this evening (won’t put them on blast) and this was some bum shit. Taco Bell style ground beef, tomato sauce and over cooked “house made” pasta.

Bolognese better have carrots, celery and onions. Bolognese better have red wine. Bolognese better have been braised, deglazed and stewed for hours to develop deep, complex flavor. Add cream if you feeling horny, or some house tricks for finesse but If you don’t want to kill yourself by the time your done making it then you probably didn’t do it right. It’s a labor of love that pays off and anything else is spaghettiOs.

I know there are more important things I could write about but restaurants constantly use these hype words to entice guests and charge $4 more than what a dish is worth without any respect or admiration to the classics. Trust me, if you saw the words “spaghetti with meat sauce” on a menu instead of “Bolognese” you would think twice about spending $14. Yet restaurant owners don’t think twice about the words they use as long as it generates revenue and sounds fancy.

Same goes for aioli. Just because you mixed pesto and mayo together doesn’t make it “pesto aioli”. But hey it sounds foreign and looks nice and you’ll pay $1 more than that turkey panini is worth. Charlatans.

This is not to mean I am purely a classicist or hold a staunch position on cultural purity, especially when pertaining to food. I believe food, culture, etc. are not stagnant and should be open to evolving over time, but if you are going to call something “Bolognese” or “mapo tofu” etc. then it should be a good representation of that dish, otherwise just state that was the inspiration and call it Joe Dick’s styling beef pasta.

Throwing smoked salmon on top of rice doesn’t make it sushi and beef on top of pasta is not Bolognese. I rest my case.

Gordon Ramsay’s “Perfect” Burger

Someone sent me this link the other day via email. It’s hard to believe but people still get salty about my “why your burger sucks” post.

I guess the anonymous sender wanted to inform me of how Gordon Ramsay cooks a perfect burger, and since he has Michelin stars and deep chin wrinkles I’m somehow supposed to be persuaded.

Unfortunately appeals to an authority don’t always work, and although I would definitely reference Ramsay if I were aiming for a star rating from a renowned tire company, I can’t go quite as far as to say he made the “perfect” burger. Besides the dude is British, which means he probably prefers tea over coffee. That alone brings all credibility into question. Sorry, not sorry.

I won’t lie though, in between my JW Black with lemon La Croix and watching Season 1 of Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime I skimmed through the video clip. Here’s my thoughts on the matter…

His choice of blend is a good combination but I can’t comprehend why he added egg as a binder. Unless you are mixing your meat with other ingredients (i.e. Meatloaf, meatballs, etc.) there shouldn’t be any issues of your meat falling apart so I feel this is an entirely unnecessary step. A burger patty should be unadulterated beef seasoned with salt and pepper just before cooking. Every time. 24/7. Don’t fuck with me on this.

Ramsay doesn’t like raw onion on a burger? A combination as old as time? If it’s good enough for Peter Luger it’s good enough for me.

I still stand behind my prior comment that burgers should either be cooked on a flat top grill or a cast iron pan. I understand the depth of flavor that a wood grill/charcoal can bring but I’m not a big fan and regardless you will never get that seared, crispy, fat rendered crust you achieve from a flat searing surface.