Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce – the Great Italian Sauce!

AUTHENTIC BOLOGNESE SAUCE

You know that I’m always searching for best/perfect recipes, don’t you? Well, I’ve already told you in my Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce post what my favourite sauce for pasta was and I thought that my Mom’s Ragù was the best recipe ever, but recently I tried another one, just out of curiosity and to confirm my theory, and I was literally amazed!


ultimate best authentic bolognese sauce

This recipe is so perfect, rich and so delicious that I’m asking how couldn’t I ever imagined that? I tried many other recipes but no one satisfied me more than my mom’s recipe even if those were made by great grandmothers.

Now, look at the photo below… do I need to add more words to convince you???

authentic best tagliatelle bolognese sauce

Another reason why I was skeptical before trying this recipe is because it does not contain garlic. And I love garlic in Bolognese Sauce, it gives a wonderful taste. But this recipe is so tasty itself and is balanced in every part of it. So, garlic lovers, before adding some garlic, taste the sauce with pasta (not alone).

This Great Authentic Bolognese Sauce is heavier (more fats) than other recipes I shared with you, but worth everything, even your bikini, trust me. Next time you’ll make Tagliatelle you’ll want to try this one, really!

This is very simple to make too, just few easy steps and some time at home, but you don’t have to look constantly at the stove so you can do other things while it cooks.

best authentic bolognese sauce delicious

I use this recipe just for special occasions, such as when I have guests or on special Sundays, while for “daily” lunchtime I always use my Mom’s recipe because it’s “healthier” (if a Bolognese sauce can be called that ahah!) and has less fats so I can continue in following my diet. That’s why I don’t remove this recipe from the blog, because is still valuable.

best italian tagliatelle bolognese sauce

As I told you before in the other post, the secret for a special Bolognese Sauce, that we (italians) call Ragù (pron. Ruh-goo), is the long cooking time, 6 hours are best.

Yes, it can be ready after 2 hours but it will be just a sauce with some meat in it and very very bland.

People say that the habit of cooking meat for long hours is given by the fact that many years ago it was very tough, so long cooking times ensured a better tenderness to the meat, but I do not agree with that because when a Bolognese Sauce is cooked for at least 4 hours (or as I suggest 6), the meat along with olive oil, vegetables and tomato perfectly combine together to form a unique mouth-watering sauce, so there’s really a huge difference in the taste, not just in tenderness (the pictures below show the difference).

best bolognese sauce before

After 2 hours of cooking the sauce is watery, bland and the meat is whitish.

best bolognese sauce long hours

After 6 hours of cooking the sauce is dense and full of taste!

So this is the best Bolognese Sauce recipe I have ever ever ever eaten, period. If you know another recipe that is better than this one (I’m a bit skeptical but..), please let me know!!! It would be another huge discovery!

Enough said, now let’s move to the recipe!

italian grandma tagliatelle bolognese sauce

Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce *

* (adapted from Beniamino Baleotti’s Ragù alla Bolognese recipe, he works as a cook at Agriturismo Le Ginestre in Pianoro (Bologna). If you ever plan to go near there make sure to visit him and have a traditional lunch there or make a pasta course, he speaks Japaneese too! I made some adjustments to his recipe such as swapped out lard for butter, because for me the first one gives a too piggy taste.)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 4-6 hours
Yield: 6-7 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 gr / 1lb / 18 oz ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 300 gr / 2/3 lb / 10 oz ground quality lean pork meat (chuck/shoulder or loin)
  • 200 gr / 1/2 lb / 7 oz ground pork belly (skinned, raw/no seasoned)
  • 450 gr / 16 oz / 4 1/2 cups soffritto vegetables OR 2 medium onions, 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 150 ml  / 2/3 cup red wine (no bubbles)
  • 600 gr / 1 1/4 lbs / 20 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 2 sage leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

Heat oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry ground pork belly until it’s brown and crispy (about 8-10 minutes).

Don’t skip this passage, it’s the key for a tasty sauce!!!

butter olive oil bolognese sauce

pancetta pork belly bolognese sauce

crispy pork belly bolognese sauce

crispy pancetta bolognese sauce closeup

Crispy pork belly

Add vegetables and fry them for about 10 minutes until they start to soften and color a bit (so vegetables are more savoury and sweet), scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally.

soffritto bolognese sauce

Mine were frozen

soffritto pork belly bolognese sauce

Add the remaining ground meat, breaking it up with a fork and cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated.

soffritto pork belly meat bolognese sauce

seared meat bolognese sauce

Add red wine, give a stir and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol.

red wine best bolognese sauce

Add tomato sauce, sage, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and cover the meat with some water.

tomato authentic bolognese sauce

Partially cover with a lid and simmer Ragù for at least 4 hours (6 is better), stirring occasionally (about every 1 1/2 hours). During that time, if you see that the sauce is drying to much add some water (not at the end of the cooking time though!).

Here’s a photo of the sauce after just 2 hours of cooking (watery and bland).

best bolognese sauce before closeup

That’s how the sauce has to look like after 6 hours of cooking:

best bolognese sauce after closeup

As you have read, there’re just few steps to follow. It’s not complicated at all, so on the next rainy Sunday have a try and let me know if it’s your best italian Bolognese Sauce recipe too! And don’t forget that Ragú can be used with every kind of pasta, not just Tagliatelle!

italian ragu bolognese sauce perfect tagliatelle

ultimate great authentic italian pasta sauce mouth watering tagliatelle bolognese sauce

Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce - the Great Italian Sauce!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The most delicious and authentic Bolognese sauce ever.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 gr / 1lb / 18 oz ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 300 gr / ⅔ lb / 10 oz ground quality lean pork meat (chuck/shoulder or loin)
  • 200 gr / ½ lb / 7 oz ground pork belly (skinned, raw/no seasoned)
  • 450 gr / 16 oz / 4½ cups soffritto vegetables OR 2 medium onions, 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 150 ml / ⅔ cup red wine (no bubbles)
  • 600 gr / 1¼ lbs / 20 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 2 sage leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry ground pork belly until it's brown and crispy (about 8-10 minutes).
  2. Add vegetables and fry them for about 10 minutes until they start to soften and color a bit (so vegetables are more savoury and sweet), scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally.
  3. Add the remaining ground meat, breaking it up with a fork and cook until it's browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated.
  4. Add red wine, give a stir and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol.
  5. Add tomato sauce, sage, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and cover the meat with some water.
  6. Partially cover with a lid and simmer Ragù for at least 4 hours (6 is better), stirring occasionally (about every 1½ hours). During that time, if you see that the sauce is drying to much add some water (not at the end of the cooking time though!).

Milk-Braised Pork or Veal Loin with Fresh Herbs, Italian Style (Arrosto al Latte)

This is a family favourite recipe, very simple to make but amazingly good! The meat, pork or veal, comes out very tender and, although it takes quite some time to cook (but your constant attendance is not required), the milk, along with sage rosemary and garlic, reduces down to create a delicious brown sauce…. and has low calories!!!


milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale best italian herbs

Cooking meat in milk is common throughout north Italy because it results in moist meat and a flavorful sauce.
Here it’s called Arrosto al Latte (milk roast – pron. Rr-os-toh) even if it’s not cooked in the oven, in fact here we call something roast (especially meat) when it’s cooked over high heat and browned.

roasted pork veal loin milk italian herbs

In Tuscan the name for roast pork loin with ribs attached seasoned with rosemary, sage, garlic and pepper is Arista (R-east-uh). This derives, as Artusi said, from an ecumenical council held in Florence in 1430 to attempt to settle the differences between the Greek and Roman Churches, during which the Florentines served their guests this dish. The Greeks all began to exclaim, “Aristos!” (“the best” in greek) and the name stuck.
Arista in Tuscany is usually cooked with white wine instead of milk, but you can find both versions.

If you’re using Veal loin for this recipe, when it’s cold, you can cut it in very thin slices and cover them with the appropriate sauce to make a delicious “Vitello Tonnato” (Veal with Tuna Sauce – recipe in a next post)….. but if you don’t mind, you can use pork loin too to do this. 😀

Milk-Braised Pork or Veal Loin with Fresh Herbs, Italian Style (Arrosto al Latte)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking Time: ~2 hours
Yield: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs / 1,3 kg boneless pork or veal loin, tied
  • ~10 sage leaves
  • 1 medium sprig of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ~1 1/2 cup whole milk (for more info read the instructions)
  • salt and pepper to taste

pork loin italian herbs milk

Instructions:

Ask your butcher to tie the meat correctly before cooking or you can do this, it’s simpler as it seems (look at this accurate video for instructions).
This will ensure that the meat remains constant throughout the cooking process so that it cooks evenly and when you’ll cut the slices they’ll be uniform.

pork loin tied italian herbs milk

Season the loin well with salt and pepper (if you have Salamoia Bolognese or Seasonello Bologna salt use that).

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and brown loin on all sides. This is important for the flavor and for the tenderness of the meat (it will take about 10 minutes to ensure all the edges are golden).

pork loin roast italian herbs

Stir in rosemary, sage and garlic and pour the milk in with the meat until it reaches about half the loin.

pork loin roast italian herbs milk

When the milk comes to boil lower the heat to low and partially cover the pan with a lid.

pork loin roast italian herbs milk lid

Cook the loin for at least 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. If you have an instant thermometer, insert it into the center of the meat and it should read 65°-70°C / 150°-160°F for a slightly pink center, while if you want the loin to be well done it should read 165°-175°F / 75°-80°C.
Remember to turn the meat once or twice during the cooking time.

milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale

I like the meat to be well done, as you can see from the photos below, so I cook it for 3 hours (before cooking, the meat was at fridge temperature).

Remove the meat and put over a cutting board to rest, loosely covered with foil to keep warm.

At this point, the milk sauce should be thick, curdled and in a nutty brown colour. If it’s not so thick or you like a more dense sauce you can add 1/2+ teaspoon of flour (paying attention to dissolve it very well) and boil the sauce for 2 minutes.

arrosto milk juice

Remove and discard garlic, rosemary and sage from the milk sauce.

Now the sauce is ready, but if you don’t like serving the roast with some chunks of coagulated milk in it (it’s not pretty but they will melt in your mouth), you can whisk the sauce with a hand mixer to obtain a smooth sauce.

milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale sliced

Slice the loin (tip: the meat is easier to cut when it’s fridge cold!), pour over the milk sauce and serve (if you find, upon slicing the meat, that you’ve undercooked it, slip the slices and sauce in a pan and bring to a simmer until cooked through).

milk braised roast arrosto maiale italian best

Usually the roast is better the next day, so that the loin has time to absorb the flavours from the sauce.

If you’re using this recipe to make Vitello Tonnato (Veal with Tuna Sauce), just arrange the “dried” slices of roast on a serving plate and cover with the Tuna Sauce (in which you have whisked some milk sauce in – recipe in a next post).

When I cook this recipe I usually put the meat covered with foil in the fridge to chill, because this helps the cutting process, especially if you cut it in thin slices.

This recipe is very easy to follow, healthy and delicious, so it’s a keeper!

What’s you favourite recipe for Pork or Veal Loin?

milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale best italian

Milk-Braised Pork or Veal Loin with Fresh Herbs, Italian Style (Arrosto al Latte)
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Pork or Veal Loin cooked in a milky sauce, authentic Italian style.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs / 1,3 kg boneless pork or veal loin, tied
  • ~10 sage leaves
  • 1 medium sprig of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ~1½ cup whole milk (for more info read the instructions)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Tie the meat correctly before cooking.
  2. Season the loin well with salt and pepper (if you have Salamoia Bolognese or Seasonello Bologna salt use that).
  3. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and brown loin on all sides.
  4. Stir in rosemary, sage and garlic and pour the milk in with the meat until it reaches about half the loin.
  5. When the milk comes to boil lower the heat to low and partially cover the pan with a lid.
  6. Cook the loin for at least 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. If you have an instant thermometer, insert it into the center of the meat and it should read 65°-70°C / 150°-160°F for a slightly pink center, while if you want the loin to be well done it should read 165°-175°F / 75°-80°C.
  7. Remember to turn the meat once or twice during the cooking time.
  8. Remove the meat and put over a cutting board to rest, loosely covered with foil to keep warm.
  9. At this point, the milk sauce should be thick, curdled and in a nutty brown colour. If it's not so thick or you like a more dense sauce you can add ½+ teaspoon of flour (paying attention to dissolve it very well) and boil the sauce for 2 minutes.
  10. Remove and discard garlic, rosemary and sage from the milk sauce.
  11. Now the sauce is ready, but if you don't like serving the roast with some chunks of coagulated milk in it (it's not pretty but they will melt in your mouth), you can whisk the sauce with a hand mixer to obtain a smooth sauce.
  12. Slice the loin (tip: the meat is easier to cut when it's fridge cold!), pour over the milk sauce and serve (if you find, upon slicing the meat, that you’ve undercooked it, slip the slices and sauce in a pan and bring to a simmer until cooked through).

Calf’s Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)

AUTHENTIC FEGATO ALLA VENEZIANA (CALF’S LIVER VENETIAN STYLE)

Fegato alla Veneziana (pron. Fay-gah-toe Ah-lah Vay-nez-e-ah-nah*) is one of the most traditional Venetian dishes known all over the world for its simplicity and above all because it’s appreciated even by those who don’t like eating liver.


fegato alla veneziana calf liver venetian style perfect best

I’m one of them, even if I’m born in a land where offal parts are a strong presence in the traditional cousine, but I don’t like most of them, one in particular: liver (well, at least until I tried this recipe) 😀 .

I cannot stand its strong bitter taste. Maybe because when I was young a friend of mine gave me for the first time a plain boiled liver (for me the worst thing on earth to eat!) and I remember that I covered it with a lot of ketchup to be able to chew it because I didn’t want to give a bad impression for having not eaten it.

The second time in my life I ate liver was definitely better. I went to Tuscany and they served me Chichen Liver Patè on Crostini. I realized that was liver patè at the end of the meal, but it tasted good (you have to treat livers with a special treatment so they lose a bit of their bitterness – try this amazing Crostini recipe).

The third time I ate liver was the best, and was with the recipe I’m showing you today.

Because I want that my son tastes all kind of dishes, even those that I don’t like, I bought a Calf’s liver (the best and healthy between livers).
I followed the Venetian style recipe… I taste it out of curiosity…. and I was amazed! I really liked it a lot!
And above all it doesn’t taste like liver at all! The meat it’s so tender and the sweet onions are the perfect combination!

Have I said that it’s a lot cheaper than other meats? That doesn’t hurt, right? So try it and let me know!

Calf’s Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound / 250 gr calf’s liver (or pork)
  • 1/2 pound / 250 gr white onions
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cut the onion into thin slices (here it’s called venetian style).

cutting onion sliced onion

Trim the covering membrane, blood vessels and any blemishes from the liver (these parts would become tough after the cooking process).

trim skin liver

Cut the liver into about 2L x 1/2h x 1/2w inch or 5L x 1h x 1w cm strips, but I know that it’s a little bit tricky to cut them into even pieces so keep this just as an example.

cut liver strips If you want the dish to have a thicker sauce and to make the liver softer, flour the strips and set aside.

liver in flour In a skillet (preferably non-stick) large enough to hold the onions and the strips of liver in a single layer, add oil and butter over a medium-high heat.

Add onions, white wine, season with salt and reduce the heat to medium-low (wine will give a mild flavour and a sweeter taste to the onions, you can skip it if you want a stronger flavour).

Cook the onions covered, stirring often to avoid them from sticking (if necessary add some water), until they are soft and fully cooked (about 20 minutes, it depends on how thin you cut the slices).

cooked onion Increase the heat to high and add the strips of liver along with the vinegar, stirring and tossing them constantly until browned outside and to your taste (if you want a medium rare liver cook it for 3 minutes) but no more than 6-7 minutes (starting from a fridge-cold meat) to avoid to eat a rubbery liver (I like it well done so I cooked the liver for 6 minutes and it was really tender anyway).

As you read before, I salted the onions so there’s no necessary to use more salt on the liver, but check the seasoning anyway and add salt, if you want, only at the end because it dehydrates the liver and makes it hard and stringy.

Add parsley and serve immediately.
calf liver venetian style

Traditionally, Calf’s Liver Venetian Style is served alongside with polenta but since we’re going to the warm weather it would be also good with a fresh and crunchy salad to balance with the liver tenderness.

Calf's Liver Venetian Style (Fegato alla Veneziana)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An authentic Italian healthy offal recipe that even children will love!
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound / 250 gr calf's liver (or pork)
  • ½ pound / 250 gr white onions
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the onion into thin slices (here it's called Venetian style).
  2. Trim the covering membrane, blood vessels and any blemishes from the liver (these parts would become tough after the cooking process).
  3. Cut the liver into about 2L x ½h x ½w inch or 5L x 1h x 1w cm strips, but I know that it's a little bit tricky to cut them into even pieces so keep this just as an example.
  4. If you want the dish to have a thicker sauce and to make the liver softer, flour the strips and set aside.
  5. In a skillet (preferably non-stick) large enough to hold the onions and the strips of liver in a single layer, add oil and butter over a medium-high heat.
  6. Add onions, white wine, season with salt and reduce the heat to medium-low (wine will give a mild flavour and a sweeter taste to the onions, you can skip it if you want a stronger flavour).
  7. Cook the onion covered, stirring often to avoid them from sticking (if necessary add some water), until they are soft and fully cooked (about 20 minutes, it depends on how thin you cut the slices).
  8. Increase the heat to high and add the strips of liver along with the vinegar, stirring and tossing them constantly until browned outside and to your taste (if you want a medium rare liver cook it for 3 minutes) but no more than 6-7 minutes (starting from a fridge-cold meat) to avoid to eat a rubbery liver (I like it well done so I cooked the liver for 6 minutes and it was really tender anyway).
  9. Check the seasoning and add salt, if you want, only at the end because it dehydrates the liver and makes it hard and stringy.
  10. Add parsley and serve immediately.

Roast Turkey: Italian tips for a moist tender and flavourful turkey

roast turkey – moist, tender and juicy

Thanksgiving is just around the corner so, why not planning to cook a delicious roast turkey the Italian way with my brine method and secret for a moist, tender and juicy turkey?

Yes, delicious, turkey and tender in the same sentence could sound a little bit strange, but anything is possible at Thanksgiving, right?


roast turkey moist tender secret italian

Oh and I promise you’ll love this recipe! It’s so hearty! My friends loved it and they begged me to give them all the leftovers… well, how couldn’t I?

I know that turkey is a bland meat and it has to be treated perfectly to become good so I read a lot about brine turkey with water, salt and apple cider but I was a bit afraid of putting too much salt in it so I came up with an age-old Italian trick that was used by our grandmothers to tenderize game meat…. baking soda!!!

I’m italian and I’ve never cooked a whole turkey in my life. It was a big tricky for me due to its big size…. and you know how italian kitchens are… small oven, small fridge…. it was 8 kg / 18 lbs and I was thinking to cut it in pieces, but finally I cooked it wholly, it was just the length of the oven… wow!

I put it breast side down and the worst part for me was turning the bird over to brown the breast as well…. it was tooo tender that I thought it would broke, but luckily my mother in law helped me and we were able to turned it over with no harm.
I really think that americans have an appropriate kitchen tool to do this, don’t they???

Roast Turkey: Italian tips for a moist tender and flavourful turkey

Difficulty: difficult
Preparation: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 3 hours
Yield: 10 servings or more

BRINE INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey):

  • 3 big rosemary sprigs
  • 8-10 sage leafs
  • few peppercorns to taste
  • 8 garlic cloves cut in half
  • 1/2 tbsp pure baking soda for each litres water / 2 tbsp pure baking soda for each gallon water

BRINE INSTRUCTIONS:

Put the bird in a large food box, cover with water and add all the ingredients. Close with a lid and leave the turkey with the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours.


SEASONING INGREDIENTS:

  • a handful of lard from rendered pork fat (called “strutto” in Italian) – you can use butter instead
  • 10 grams / 2 tsp for every kilo of meat (or 4 grams / 1 tsp for every pound of meat) of fine sea salt
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, 5 sage leaves and 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 north Italian sausages (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine) – about 200 grams – 1/2 pound
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1/4 onion

SEASONING INSTRUCTIONS:

After about 24 hours, remove the turkey from the fridge and drain it well. Leave it at room temperature for at least 1 hour (2 is better).
Spread lard or butter all over the turkey. Season with salt and fresh herbs finely ground.

Stuff the turkey with two sausages, 3 garlic cloves cut in half, rosemary, sage, onion and one tbsp salt (these will flavour the turkey from the inside as it cooks).

Cover the cavity with aluminium foil so that the aromatics won’t fall out while you’re roasting the turkey and if you want to keep the wings and legs close to the body while cooking, truss the turkey with a food string.

Place the turkey breast down on a rack over a roasting pan. That way the breast will be more juicy.

Cook the turkey at 200°C for the first 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160°C for the next 2 hours and then reduce to 100°C until it’s done. Consider 40 minutes for every kilo of meat or 15 minutes for every pound of meat.

When the turkey is almost done, turn the turkey over and put under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the breast (not to much though! or you’ll have a dry turkey breast).

The turkey is ready when clear juices (not pink) come out when you spear the breast with a fork or a knife or when the meat thermometer reaches 75°C.

For the cooking time I followed the post on Simply Recipes Blog, where you can find useful pictures and information on how to tie and close up the turkey cavity.

turkey_moist_tender_best


STUFFING INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey)

  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 800 grams / 1.8 pounds north Italian sausages chopped and case removed (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces chestnuts
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces cranberries
  • 100 grams / 3 cups stale bread cubes (about 3/4 inch)
  • 5-8 fresh sage leaves finely chopped

STUFFING INSTRUCTIONS:

(I like to cook the stuffing into a pan and not into the turkey because the latter takes less time to cook)

Put in a large pan 3 tbsp of butter, a stalk of celery, one onion finely chopped and cook until soft.

Add north-italian sausages and cook until little brown.

Pour white wine and allow alcohol to evaporate, then add chestnuts, cranberries, stale bread cubes, sage leaves finely chopped and water as needed to cover all the ingredients and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Adjust with salt if needed.


 

GRAVY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup onion, carrot and celery mix chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter mixed with 2-3 tbsp flour (roux)
  • turkey stock/drippings as needed
GRAVY INSTRUCTIONS:
 

You can make this gravy during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time of the turkey.

In a sauce pan add 3 tbsp butter and sauté vegetables until soft. After about 3 minutes add white wine and let alcohol evaporate.
Cook vegetables until done (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and blend them with a mixer.

Add the roux (a mixture of equal part of flour and butter) and return the sauce pan to the stove on medium heat. Add some turkey stock/drippings as needed (not too much though because it’s salty) and some water to adjust the thickness as you prefer. If it’s too liquid, add more roux.

Cook for at least 5 minutes and it’s done!

I have to tell you that this gravy was soo good and it made the turkey meat really tasty, so it’s definitely a must for me!Serve the turkey on a serving plate with the chestnut stuffing, gravy and some good old fashioned mashed potatoes and it will be love at first bite!

roast turkey moist tender secret italian brine

Hope my tips could help you preparing a moist, tender and juicy turkey and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Roast Turkey: Italian tips for a moist tender and flavourful turkey
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian, American, English
Serves: 10
Ingredients
BRINE INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey)
  • 3 big rosemary sprigs
  • 8-10 sage leafs
  • few peppercorns to taste
  • 8 garlic cloves cut in half
  • ½ tbsp pure baking soda for each litres water / 2 tbsp pure baking soda for each gallon water
SEASONING INGREDIENTS:
  • a handful of lard from rendered pork fat (called "strutto" in Italian) - you can use butter instead
  • 10 grams / 2 tsp for every kilo of meat (or 4 grams / 1 tsp for every pound of meat) of fine sea salt
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, 5 sage leaves and 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 north Italian sausages (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine) - about 200 grams - ½ pound
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 sage leaves
  • ¼ onion
STUFFING INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey)
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 800 grams / 1.8 pounds north Italian sausages chopped and case removed (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces chestnuts
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces cranberries
  • 100 grams / 3 cups stale bread cubes (about ¾ inch)
  • 5-8 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
GRAVY INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup onion, carrot and celery mix chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter mixed with 2-3 tbsp flour (roux)
  • turkey stock/drippings as needed
Instructions
BRINE INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Put the bird in a large food box, cover with water and add all the ingredients. Close with a lid and leave the turkey with the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours.
SEASONING INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. After about 24 hours, remove the turkey from the fridge and drain it well. Leave it at room temperature for at least 1 hour (2 is better).
  2. Spread lard or butter all over the turkey. Season with salt and fresh herbs finely ground.
  3. Stuff the turkey with two sausages, 3 garlic cloves cut in half, rosemary, sage, onion and one tbsp salt (these will flavour the turkey from the inside as it cooks).
  4. Cover the cavity with aluminium foil so that the aromatics won't fall out while you're roasting the turkey and if you want to keep the wings and legs close to the body while cooking, truss the turkey with a food string.
  5. Place the turkey breast down on a rack over a roasting pan. That way the breast will be more juicy.
  6. Cook the turkey at 200°C for the first 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160°C for the next 2 hours and then reduce to 100°C until it's done. Consider 40 minutes for every kilo of meat or 15 minutes for every pound of meat.
  7. When the turkey is almost done, turn the turkey over and put under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the breast (not to much though! or you'll have a dry turkey breast).
  8. The turkey is ready when clear juices (not pink) come out when you spear the breast with a fork or a knife or when the meat thermometer reaches 75°C.
STUFFING INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Put in a large pan 3 tbsp of butter, a stalk of celery, one onion finely chopped and cook until soft.
  2. Add north-italian sausages and cook until little brown.
  3. Pour white wine and allow alcohol to evaporate, then add chestnuts, cranberries, stale bread cubes, sage leaves finely chopped and water as needed to cover all the ingredients and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Adjust with salt if needed.
GRAVY INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. You can make this gravy during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time of the turkey.
  2. In a sauce pan add 3 tbsp butter and sauté vegetables until soft. After about 3 minutes add white wine and let alcohol evaporate.
  3. Cook vegetables until done (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and blend them with a mixer.
  4. Add the roux (a mixture of equal part of flour and butter) and return the sauce pan to the stove on medium heat. Add some turkey stock/drippings as needed (not too much though because it's salty) and some water to adjust the thickness as you prefer. If it's too liquid, add more roux.
  5. Cook for at least 5 minutes and it's done!
  6. Serve the turkey on a serving plate with the chestnut stuffing, gravy and some good old fashioned mashed potatoes and it will be love at first bite!