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Mary Berry’s Unexpected Secret Ingredient For The Best Spaghetti Bolognese

In Europe
May 04, 2024
<span class="copyright">Tim Bieber via Getty Images</span>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/UId9ym6qdxRTjOucUCJDdw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD05MzI-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/huffpost_uk_744/81ecc0eddf28b89493bc8f13cf2aea4b” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/UId9ym6qdxRTjOucUCJDdw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD05MzI-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/huffpost_uk_744/81ecc0eddf28b89493bc8f13cf2aea4b”></div></div></div><p><figcaption class=Tim Bieber via Getty Images

If there’s one thing telly icon and baking legend Mary Berry seems to love, it’s a secret ingredient.

First, we learned that she puts crème fraîche in her cheat’s lasagne. Then, it turned out she sawears by semolina for crispity-crunchy roasted sweet potato.

And now, we’ve learned that her no-fuss, oven-baked spag bol recipe uses redcurrant jam.

The trick can be used in a regular on-the-hob spaghetti bolognese recipe, too. But for Mary Berry’s midweek-friendly meal, it packs a much-needed punch to the flavour profile.


Why jam?

The sugars in the jam caramelise and even slightly thicken the sauce, while the tart sweetness of the currants compliments beef amazingly.

It also melts quickly, as Laura Rowe, food expert at Ocado Retail, told Wales Online when sharing her perfect gravy recipe. That means you don’t need to boil anything to unleash its smooth, velvety texture.

So, while the addition of the redcurrant jam to Mary Berry’s one-tray, easy-bake dinner definitely isn’t traditional, we’re not surprised that site users for the BBC recipe left it some pretty good reviews (4.5 stars from 31 reviews).

What was that about the oven again?

Though notoriously fiddly bolognese recipes can take hours on a stovetop, Mary Berry’s recipe is a little easier as it involves the oven instead.

She fries the onion, celery, and mince on the hob before mixing in the garlic puree, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and redcurrant jam. She simmers it with stock for half an hour(ish), cooks some pasta, fries off some mushrooms, and bakes the lot with cheese until golden brown.

This can be prepared in the dish up to 6 hours ahead, ready to bake and serve,” Mary Berry said of the recipe.

Expect a 32nd review on that recipe page from me soon…

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