Dinner/ Pasta/ Recipes

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese

08/03/2016 (Last Updated: 11/05/2018)

Holy smokes. We’ve kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese is the best thing since Spag Bol, with enough smoky beef and bacon to satisfy the hungriest of meat lovers. 

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese - Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. | wandercooks.com

As I sit here writing, another weekend has come and gone and I can’t believe we’re now in our third week of being-back-home-shenanigans already. Gosh time flies when you’re having fun!

This weekend was just the relaxing break we needed after a full-on year. A chance to catch up on family happenings and spend some time in the great outdoors.

Our retreat was a cute little renovated 60’s shack on Hindmarsh Island, South Australia. It was such a stunning spot, bright green grass, away from city noise, and only a few steps to the banks of the Murray River.

Topping the activities list:

  • Go fishing off a rickety wooden jetty
  • Relax in the shade with a good book, and

Mission Completed.

(We even cranked up our 3DS’s for a few rounds of Mario Kart – haven’t done that in years!) :O

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese - Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. | wandercooks.com

Weirdly we didn’t do any of the cooking this weekend. It feels like we haven’t touched a spatula in so too long and I don’t know about Sarah but I’m starting to get twitchy.

There was a trip to a local pub for dinner the first night, chicken schnitzels all round because REASONS. And then there were the sausages and steak and fried potatoes and CORN on the barbecue the second night and OH-MY-GOD if you haven’t tried barbecued corn yet you need to get on this.

It’s ridiculously simple. Find corn cob -> put on BBQ -> slather with butter (if that’s your thing, it is totally our thing) – > bask in the ambiance.

Oh sorry, was that a bit too corn-y? 😛

Corny or not, for the best flavour make sure to grab corn cobs with the husk on and remove it yourself before cooking. Trust us it’ll taste way better than the pre-husked plastic-wrapped variety.

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese - Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. | wandercooks.com

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Our last escapade in the kitchen was Sarah’s Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese Experiment.

While I was coughin’ and splutterin’ and oglin’ Crispy Korean Pancakes from the couch, Sarah was flitting around the kitchen chopping this, frying that, adding tablespoons of this sauce and drops of that Liquid Smoke.

Oh Liquid Smoke. Life got so much tastier the day you came into our lives.Click To Tweet

 

We use Tone’s Liquid Smoke with Hickory Barbecue Flavour that we got from the Adelaide Central Market, but you can just as easily buy it online. It is so damn perfect for those times your need big, bold, smoky American-style flavours in your life, but you don’t want the hassle of having to smoke it yourself. 

Offsetting the smoky beefy bacon-y deliciousness Sarah added grated zucchini and carrot which blended amazingly into the sauce that I had no idea they were even there.

It even fooled her brother, who’s usually got a keen eye for sneaky unwanted vegetables. Success!

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese - Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. | wandercooks.com

Sick or no, I can tell you I wolfed down that Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese in record time along with the rest of the hungry family. Mr I-Don’t-Eat-Vegetables even said it should be called Texas BBQ Bolognese. What do you think?

P.S. If you love pasta you might want to check out this Authentic Italian Tagliatelle Ragu or this Spaghetti All’Amatriciana, or even this Japanese Fusion Chilli Garlic and Burdock Spaghetti. So much pasta love coming your way!

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese - Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. | wandercooks.com

If you want more cooking tips, lifehacks and general food amazingness beyond Wandercooks, make sure you join the conversation and LIKE us on Facebook.

 

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese - Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two. | wandercooks.com

Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Holy smokes. We've kicked this pasta up a notch, with serious barbecue flavour for a bold dinner that even sneaks a secret vegetable or two.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Creative
Author: Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 750 g beef mince
  • 4 slices middle rasher bacon diced
  • 500 g pasta we used fettucine
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 2 x 400 g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 20 drops liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika or more, to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for cooking

Instructions

  • Set a large saucepan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil.
  • Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir fry until onions are translucent.
  • Add the minced beef and diced bacon and continue fry until browned.
  • Pour in red wine and cook until liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Add the grated carrot and zucchini, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and BBQ sauce. Stir through until well combined.
  • Gradually add the liquid smoke, smoky paprika, salt and pepper until you’re happy with the flavour. Continue to simmer on low.
  • Add the pasta into the pot of boiling water and cook according to packet directions.
  • When pasta is ready, place on serving dishes and top with the Smoky Beef and Bacon Bolognese sauce.

Notes

We cooked a big batch of this Bolognese because we were feeding 6 hungry people. If you’re cooking for a smaller number, we recommend freezing the rest for future lunch or dinnertime awesomeness.
Optional: Add your favourite fresh herbs for an extra depth of flavour. Basil, oregano or rosemary would work really well, but they’re not essential.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
    05/04/2016 at 10:54 am

    Great dinner idea. I usually make my bolognese with pork. I need to try yours 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/04/2016 at 12:58 pm

      Oooh pork would be delicious too. We usually make bolognese with beef in Australia but definitely trying it with pork next time!

  • Reply
    Karly Campbell
    11/03/2016 at 4:01 am

    Holy SMOKES is right, this looks amazing! And the bacon! Agh!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      11/03/2016 at 9:01 am

      Oooh we baaaaad. 😉 Hahaha

  • Reply
    Muna Kenny
    09/03/2016 at 10:35 pm

    Impressive! I like how you added few more flavors to this classic dish 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      11/03/2016 at 9:00 am

      Experimenting with the classics is too fun to pass up! 😀

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    08/03/2016 at 10:53 pm

    Your Bolognese looks amazing and what a different take on the classic!! Now lets get down to business and talk corn — here in the States, especially Indiana, we have lots and lots of corn and we do grill it a LOT!! You want a great topping — all of my kids love it — it is maple chipotle butter. OMG it transforms everything to a different level. We even put it on our pork chops!! Yes indeed our barbie gets lots of use. Hey! Are you going to post pictures of your adventures?? Would love to see them. A dopo!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 9:12 am

      Oh. My. God. That flavour combination sounds incredible Marisa! We are SO going to do this at our next BBQ. Oooh and I wonder if you could use this instead of garlic butter and make spicy maple chipotle ‘Garlic Bread’? What do you think?

  • Reply
    Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
    08/03/2016 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve heard a few times that bolognase is best made with a mix of pork and beef but never tried it myself. (Though I do make meatballs this way. ..) Your recipe is very tempting!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 9:07 am

      Hey Emma, yep it’s amazing with an even mix of pork and beef mince. Sarah’s experiment used bacon instead and it went really great with the smoky BBQ flavours in this version. We haven’t made meatballs in ages though, must do that soon!

  • Reply
    Martin @ The Why Chef
    08/03/2016 at 7:29 pm

    Was dosing up on liquid smoke just last night for some BBQ wings! I love the stuff, but I posted about liquid smoke in a British BBQ Facebook group and got torn a new behind! I didn’t realise how controversial it could be!

    My better half loves all things BBQ so I’ll be cooking this up for her! And she’s very much a won’t-go-near-carrots-or-courgette either, so it’ll be worthwhile if I can slip them in!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 9:02 am

      Oh really? We never realised it could be so controversial. Serious Eats have done an amazing article on liquid smoke which I think you might enjoy reading! The key is definitely to use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the dish. We’ll definitely keep using it though. (Hint hint: Oysters Kilpatrick with a drop of liquid smoke. Do it. We’ll be sharing this one on the blog soon!)

  • Reply
    Diana
    08/03/2016 at 7:18 pm

    Love a good tasty bolognese! Proper comfort food 🙂 I never tried making my own bolognese sauce, but I will have to try this!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 8:45 am

      Ooooh you definitely should! It always tastes better homemade, especially because you can tweak the flavours and make it just how you like it. Hope you enjoy, and let us know how you go!

  • Reply
    Barely Vegan
    08/03/2016 at 6:58 pm

    Bacon, BBQ, and Wine?!?! This sounds very decadent and tasty! Great recipe. 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 8:44 am

      Yep, Yep, and Yep! It’s got all of the good stuff in there!

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    08/03/2016 at 6:01 pm

    I have to go to bed but this bolognese has got me feeling hungry! Looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 8:41 am

      This one’s worth staying up for. 😉 😛

  • Reply
    Sandra - The Foodie Affair
    08/03/2016 at 4:05 pm

    My husband was just saying he was craving a pasta dish! He’ll love the bacon in this bolognese and I love all the veggies!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/03/2016 at 8:41 am

      It’s like the best of both worlds! And at least you don’t have to tell him about the veggies haha. 😉

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