Brain Stew: When Bolognese Goes Bad


If you were reading a normal food blog, this entry would probably be about all the wonderful things you can do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Ya know – the salads, the sandwiches, the stews, the snacks, etc.

This isn’t that blog.

Instead, we are going to talk about ground turkey, and how this staple of semi-vegetarian cuisine went egregiously wrong this past Sunday night.

As you know, I use ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef, ground pork, ground veal, or ground just-about-anything-from-a-pig-or-cow. The reason, naturally, is that my wife does not partake in the bovine or swine, which (as Bobby Brown could attest) is her prerogative.

Usually, the ground turkey passes completely unnoticed in the right dish. One of the best of these in my arsenal is bolognese sauce. Like ground beef with a gizzard, the turkey easily melds into the carrot/onion/garlic/tomato mixture to create a hearty, Sunday-night pasta dish.

Or sometimes not.

As you can see, yesterday’s sauce more closely resembles brain stew than Italian meat sauce. Scary.

It was my first time using this all-natural ground turkey from Trader Joe’s, which usually impresses me with the quality of its products. For some reason, when browning the turkey, the individual strands did not want to mush together, thereby leaving spaghetti-like pieces of cooked meat. Even when I added the rest of the sauce, and cooked them with the lid on (thinking that the meat would eventually break down), the strands staunchly preserved their shape.

In the end, it tasted perfectly good. Still… I couldn’t quite get this Indiana Jones image out of my head:


3 responses to “Brain Stew: When Bolognese Goes Bad

  1. I saw this recipe on your page and thought it was unique, restaurant wise it fits because it is cost controllable. I prepared my Tukey Bolognese Arrabiatta style as I slow cooked the bolognese sauce with thinly sliced (Seedless) cherry peppers, it really gave the sauce a zap. The way you cover food is great, I really enjoy your ideas.


  2. Thanks for stopping by, Gene! I hope I can check out your restaurant before I leave NJ (I’m moving to the city soon).

    I will definitely give the cherry peppers a try next time I make this sauce.

    – Mike

  3. Pingback: Crazy, Curious and Brave | Beep boop bop

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