Spaghetti bolognese recipe using Bordeaux red wine

bolognese using bordeaux wine

I’ve been cooking spaghetti Bolognese a lot over the past few months, improving the method with each attempt. Now, I think I have mastered the fine art, and thought I should create a step-by-step guide so that you too can create this meal, which is guaranteed to please the mortal soul. It requires three secret ingredients. The first is a Bordeaux red wine. The particular wine that I used while cooking for this blog post was:

Château Mouchac-La Rame 2009 Bordeaux

Château Mouchac-La Rame 2009 Bordeaux

It was a fantastic 13% wine and cost only €3.20 from Carrefour. I went back today to get some more but, unsurprisingly, it had all sold out. This recipe uses around a glass of wine leaving almost an entire bottle for drinking, so my advice when picking a bottle is not to think of it as cooking wine, but to choose something super and don’t think of it as a waste when you throw it into the Bolognese: think of it as sharing a glass with your baby.

The second secret ingredient is music. Yes I said it, and I seriously believe that the music you listen to while cooking will influence the taste. That’s why when I cook super noodles I listen to Beethoven, just to add a little dignity to the snack. As for this Bolognese, I listened to FIP radio and I strongly suggest you do the same. We will come to the final secret ingredient later, but for now let us begin.

Bordeaux Bolognese Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 30 minutes – Cooking time: 2 hours – (add that up and it equals two and a half hours of pure relaxation)


  • 350g minced beef
  • 3 medium-sized carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 big cloves of garlic
  • 500g tomato passata (i.e. very finely chopped tomatoes)
  • 3 tbsp double concentrate tomato purée (i.e. the stuff that comes in a tube, like toothpaste, however this tube is made of metal!)
  • Olive oil
  • Beef stock cube
  • 2 and a half tbsp ground basil
  • Tabasco (the final secret ingredient)
  • Salt and black pepper

Let us start by preparing the vegetables. I like to have them all ready to go before I even turn the gas on, on the hob. It’s just a more relaxing way of cooking than having to rush around doing loads of things at once.

Step 1.

celery in plastic bowl

Grate the celery into  large plastic bowl…

grating celery

…grating celery is not so easy and always some stringy bits will remain…

ungrated celery

…finely chop these little bastards…

chopped celery

…then set the heap aside in a little bowl

celery in a little bowl

Step 2.

Peeling carrots

Peel the carrots…

grated carrots

…then grate them into the same large plastic bowl that you used to grate the celery into, however, this time, once done, leave the carrots in that there bowl

Step 3.

cherry tomato cut  up

Chop all the cherry tomatoes into 4 pieces – set aside in a fresh, small, cermaic bowl (conserve juices)

Step 5.

4 chunks of garlic

Cut the garlic gloves into chunks that will – in the near future – neatly fit into your garlic crusher

Step 5.

big bloody onion

Peel the skin off that big bloody onion and chop it into little bits, before leaving it laying on the chopping board, because…

sexy vegetables

…Viola! All your vegetables are prepared and looking mighty fine

Step 6.

olive oil in pan

Splash a healthy glug of olive oil into a large sided pan (…or pot, depending on your sexual orientation) and warm up on a medium heat

Step 7.

grated carrots in pan

Add the carrots for starters and cook down for a couple of minutes

Step 8.

carrots and onion in pan

Add the onions second and cook for around 5 minutes

Step 9.

mince pit

Make a pit in the centre of the carrots and onion…

mince in pit

…and add the mince

Step 10.

add red wine to bolognese

Now is the time to add the first dash of wine…

drinking while cooking

…and pour yourself a glass!

 Step 11.

dynamic photo

Let the mince cook for a couple of minutes, then mix it into the carrots and onions and then crush in the garlic (sorry for the hyper-dynamic photo)…

celery and garlic

….and also add the celery, mmm

Step 12.

cherry tomato pit

Make another pit and add the cherry tomatoes along with the tomato purée (I also added a teaspoon of salt at this stage and a cheeky little slug of wine). Mix well and allow to cook for 5 or so minutes

Step 13.

Passata motherfucker

Pour the passata over the top and stir it in, letting it simmer down for a good few minutes while you take a breather and if you like send me a tweet and let me know that you’ve reached halfway and are feeling fantastic, or whatever

Step 14.

Prepare the stock by adding one beef stock cube to 300ml of boiling water (oops no photo)

Step 15.

basil and black pepper

Add the basil and black pepper, and let those flavours infuse while appreciating jazz

Step 16.

stock in bolognese

Pour the stock in and turn the heat down to a really low setting. Allow the water to evaporate over the course of half an hour, returning the Bolognese to a thick state – stir irregularly

Step 17.

milk swirl in bolognese

Add a dash of milk and stir through WARNING it still needs around half an hour to 45 minutes of simmering until it will be ready – stir irregularly

Step 18.

Commence the spaghetti during the final 10 minutes, when you notice that most of the liquid / water has burnt off

Step 19.

Add another dash of wine and stir through during the final 5 minutes and add the 3rd secret ingredient: Tabasco (the amount is largely dependent on taste, I add around 15 drops)

Step 20.

buttery spaghetti

Once the spaghetti is al dente, toss it with butter

Step 21.

bordeaux wine with bolognese

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED serve on top of the spaghetti with a glass of the remaining wine


parmesan cheese

Provide a bowl full of grated parmesan cheese and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil for optimum visual effect. I didn’t have any fresh basil unfortunately…

evil gentlemen enjoying bolognese

..nevertheless, these evil-looking gentlemen both gave the dish 4 stars. I’m not sure whether that was 4 out of 4,  4 out of 5, or 4 out of 10 but one thing is for sure: they ate it all in less than 5 minutes and both gave it a thumbs up

thumbs up manthumbs up guy

I know, I know, I should have got some wildly arousing women to model the dish but like the fresh basil: the supermarket didn’t have any.

Let me know your thoughts. I would be honoured if anybody actually tried following this recipe.

3 thoughts on “Spaghetti bolognese recipe using Bordeaux red wine

  1. I must have the same thing wrong with me as you, because I just spent a portion of my Saturday night reading this. But I loved it. Especially the photo immediately prior to Step 11. Great recipe Chris 😉

  2. Hey Chris – nice recipe. I personally use parsley instead of celery. But that’s because i hate getting celery in my teeth. Stringy bastard stuff. I bang in a bit of balsamic vinegar as well. Tabasco is a great idea though. I made this video of me making rolls and chicken at the farm – needs sounds. It’s kinda amusing. A demain.

  3. Pingback: Spaghetti bolognese recipe using Bordeaux red wine – gazzetta

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