Talk:Lincoln Family Spaghetti
We made two batches. One with pork, one with mushrooms. In the vegetarian one, we tried putting in too many porcini mushrooms, but pureeing most of them in with the onions and parsley and garlic to give more earthy body to the sauce (that might otherwise come from meat juice in the meatful batch). This seems like a win.
Also tried putting one batch in the oven to bake like a casserole overnight at ~225 F. (our oven has bad temperature control). The meatful batch was left on the stove overnight, but I left the control up a tad too high, and it burned on the bottom. The rescue attempt was to pour it into a new pot, and leave the bottom 1" behind. It might be easier to throw away the burned pot rather than clean it, but the garbage men here might not take something so pungent. Putting the batch in the oven overnight seems like a win because ovens have much better temperature control and don't concentrate the heat on only the bottom.
The main thing contributing to the burning is the parsley which settles to and covers the bottom of the pot.
My solution to the burning issue is to make sure that the original mix is very liquid so that some mild boiling will occur while the meat is being reduced and the tomatoe sauce and onions converted. Once the pork has been fragmented and the onions flexible one can keep the pot warm enough to cook, the liquid to circulate and only occasional stirring needed to get the parsley back into the bulk of the mixture.
As for Porcini mushrooms. I soak them in warm water and pour off the "liquor" that results and filter the sediment out. Add this liquid and the mushrooms to get a richer flavor.
Burned spaghetti sauce is the pits. The burned flavor permeates the whole damn thing. And yes I have thrown away big aluminum pots rather than try and get that gunk off the bottom, the pot is never the same. Since I started using heavy Celaphon pots, however the temperature distribution is much better and I haven't buyrned a batch since.
I always try to use fresh Schillings Italian Seasoning.
Be careful when using canned tomato products over a year old. Make sure that none of the cans has begun to "dome" even slightly, indicating a build up of gas inside the can. I thought the acidity of the tomato base would inhibit bad processes but I guess there is enough sugar in the mix to promote some kind of baterial growth.
When I said 'large', I meant 15 oz cans of tamota sauce and apolize for the "large" as Hunt's has some #2 1/2 cans of tamoto sauce which you should try to avoid.
The key flavors in the sauce are the parsley and the porcini mushrooms which give sauce its unique character.
It seems to me with current practice (searing meat in frying pan before starting the stew) the meat is not the bottleneck, it is the onions. The onions have to be cooked into submission, and that takes a long time. There is some phase change going on at 10 to 20 hours cooking in the tomato sauce too, changing smell and taste, mellowing significantly. I am convinced this is not meat related (because the veggie one also did this this morning), and not just the onions.