This post has been a long time coming. I don’t know why, but the picture and thought of writing up this recipe for you has been lurking in the back of my mind for months. Well, I guess better late than never, right?

Bolognese is one of those dishes that can be quick to make, but taste so much deeper, more complex and just plain better if it’s left to simmer for hours on the stove. I am not always in the mood for a whole afternoon of babysitting a simmering pot and often I haven’t planned for enough time to do so. Enter my pressure cooker to the rescue! After just 20 minutes at high pressure I can make a bolognese that tastes like it has been simmering for hours.

Bolognese tastes lovely with spaghetti and some parmesan cheese on top, but it’s also great to make into lasagna and I have developed a casserole dish for leftover bolognese, that hits the spot on a cold rainy day. I’ll be posting recipes for both soon 🙂

When pressure cooking with tomatoes some people have them scorch the bottom of the pot. I’ve never have that happen – and believe me I’ve made bolognese many times in my pressure cooker. If you have issues with tomato scorching in your pressure cooker, the recommended work around is to add the tomatoes as the last ingredient and not mix them in until after the dish has been pressure cooked. Also very important when pressure cooking is to make sure the pot has been de-glazed after sautéing. I like to use a little wine, but stock or water works just as fine if you have no wine on hand. I tend to buy tiny one serving wine bottles for cooking as neither OH or me drink wine. Often I don’t need to use up the entire small bottle, so I freeze any leftovers in ice block bags. That makes it easy for me to pop 1-2 wine cubes out of the freezer. They’ll that in a small cup on the counter top while I prep.

Neither me or OH like to eat a lot of bolognese with our pasta, so this recipe stretches to 8 servings for us. Bolognese freezes wonderfully and we can easily get two night’s worth of spaghetti bolognese as well as 2 night’s worth of lasagna from this recipe. It is lovely to be able to stretch one pack of minced beef like this.

I like to use bacon in my bolognese – just enough to give an extra layer of flavour to the sauce. I use the rendered fat from the bacon to sauté the vegetables in. When I don’t have bacon on hand I use a little olive oil for the vegetables in stead.

Now, let’s get down to business…

Serves 8 at 4 SP per serving.


  • 50 g bacon, cut into little cubes or strips OR 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped or grated (if grated they will disappear into the sauce and picky eaters won’t know they are there)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 500 g minced beef (10,5% fat)
  • 1 small can of concentrated tomato puré (70 g)
  • 50 ml red wine OR stock OR water
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400 g)


Turn you pressure cooker on the middle sauté setting and add bacon. Let the bacon render its fat and start to get a little crispy. If not using bacon add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pot and go on to the next step.

Add the onion and carrot to the bacon fat and sauté until the onion are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or so.

Add the beef and break it up with your spoon. Keep on sautéing till no pink meat remains.

Add the tomato puré and stir for a minute to let it cook a little (this improves the taste).

Add the red wine (or stock or water if using) and thoroughly scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen all brown bits. This de-glazing will help prevent the pressure cooker from scorching and all the lovely flavour of the brown bits will incorporate into the sauce.

Add the dried herbs, the salt and pepper and the chopped tomatoes. Give everything a good stir and scrape down any bits stuck to the inner pot above the sauce.

Turn of the sauté and lock on the lid. Set the vent to ‘Sealing’ and programme 20 minutes at high pressure. You can do a natural pressure release or a quick pressure release – for this dish it doesn’t matter.

Open the lid, give everything a stir and taste to season.

Serve with pasta or courgette noodles and some grated parmesan.


Freezes well for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed container.