Weekend Plans Post: Colorado-Style Spaghetti Sauce Illustrated


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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44 Responses

  1. Maribou says:

    When I see those pictures of the fat, I think “ooogh, how can we be eating THAT?”


    • DensityDuck in reply to Maribou says:

      Part of the thing with Americans and fat is that we spent the last fifty-some years hearing that fat was Death Juice, and eating anything that wasn’t low-fat or non-fat would instantly make you weigh 400 pounds and have candle wax for blood.

      The other part is that when Americans think “fat” they’re usually thinking of the enormous white globules on the side of a porterhouse steak, they aren’t used to the idea that fat can be more like melted butter.Report

  2. James K says:

    I find out in an hour if New Zealand is moving back into lockdown, so my weekend plans are extremely fluid right now.Report

    • James K in reply to James K says:

      So we’re not going into lockdown after all, we’re still on heightened alert for now, but not so high we can’t go about our business mostly as normal. So I’ll still be able to run D&D on Sunday, and I might even be able to go to an open home on Sunday too.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to James K says:

        Good luck, but be safe. Have some hand sanitizer at the table. Don’t share dice.Report

      • Fish in reply to James K says:

        Oh no! But you guys were doing so well! What happened?Report

        • James K in reply to Fish says:

          Looks like it slipped through the isolation system at the border. It turns out that they haven’t been testing the front line workers regularly. Auckland’s back in Level 3 lockdown for the next week and a half, and the rest of the country is back up to Level 2. We have 30 cases loose inside the country now, concentrated in Auckland.

          Level 2 isn’t too bad, I can still work from my office, and bars and restaurants are still open. The main difference is I’m wearing a mask out of doors now.

          Still it irks me that the testing of front line workers in the isolation facilities was so lackadaisical. It reinforces my notions that New Zealand may be one of the best-governed countries on Earth, but that’s a really low bar to cross.Report

  3. DensityDuck says:

    Wow, that looks really good!Report

  4. Ozzzy! says:

    Looks tasty! a half cup of red wine could work some additional magic in that crock pot too.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Ozzzy! says:

      I used to add wine to the sauce, but I stopped when I started adding pasta water.

      I might start experimenting with wine at the beginning of the process (put it on top of the salted herbs)… see what it does to the tallow…Report

  5. fillyjonk says:

    Monday is the start of classes. I am deeply apprehensive. I’ve done everything I can do to be ready, but it’s going to involve technology (including our internet) cooperating – I am teaching my classes mostly in-person, but with synchronous streaming for several people who have expressed health or family concerns that prevent them from being comfortable being on campus. (I expect within a month we will be 100% online as cases start to spike).

    I will be teaching masked and I hope people will be able to hear me well enough.

    I am also not wild about the idea of being Mask Police – we are told to tell people who won’t wear the mask “properly” to leave our classes, and call Campus Security if they get belligerent. (Note to self: remember to bring your phone to class)

    It’s also Satan’s Buttcrack weather here – hot, humid, smelly, terrible, depressing. Even if I could go out and do things I probably wouldn’t want to. But it adds an extra layer of misery on.

    I will be eating mostly cold food this weekend I think because cooking feels like it heats the house up too much.

    Part of it is it’s just been so long since life seemed remotely normal and I am feeling hard the “third quarter phenomenon” today even if intellectually I know it’s probably not the third quarter, but rather the first….I don’t even know…the first eightyth? Very much having to take things a day – or sometimes an hour – at a time, because when I think about six more months or another year (or more) of this, I just want to DIEReport

    • Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk says:

      Monday! Already! Yeah, classes are starting very soon here as well. It *FEELS* like Spring Break is finally ending rather than a new year is starting.

      But that’s also tempered by the weird sense of inevitability that the best laid plans are going to gang aft agley.

      Good luck. We’re rooting for you from up here.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to fillyjonk says:

      In addition to the virus, get to worry about smoke in the air. Four fires burning up in the mountains here, the biggest at 75,000 acres and still growing. My daughter in Fort Collins says they have just a bit of ash in the air and all the light is orange because they’re straight downwind from one of the fires, and there are big updrafts creating pyrocumulus clouds that carry stuff a long ways. Tonight’s NWS forecast here at my house starts with “areas of smoke.” One of the fires has I-70 closed. The day they closed the interstate Google Maps routed thousands of vehicles onto 4×4 dirt mountain roads before the sheriffs got those shut.Report

  6. Marchmaine says:

    Like the looks of the sauce there… for people who are Onion Averse (rather than allergic) we’ve had success adding a whole onion sliced in 2… adds flavor and can be fished out so it doesn’t change the texture or leave behind those onion chunks. In fact we do that with a handful of recipes where we want some onion, but not too much onion.

    Other than that… we may or may not process the broiler chickens tomorrow… everybody loves processing day! Eh, maybe next week would be better.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

      The bowls of spaghetti that were better than that bowl above?

      They had onions in the sauce.


    • fillyjonk in reply to Marchmaine says:

      YES. My aversion is often to the texture of the chunks (and that MOST PEOPLE do not dice them finely enough) and being able to remove the onion after it’s flavored is a good thing. (Or: what I do sometimes is use a microplane grater to basically puree the onion. You just need to use less because the flavor is more intense. Obviously does not work for dishes with pre-browned onion, but stew type of things often don’t have you do that)

      I will be glad when it’s cool enough again for actual cooking of things like soups and spaghetti sauce to be appealing. Will be at least a month at this pointReport

      • Marchmaine in reply to fillyjonk says:

        Good point… we microplane onion into our salad dressings for a nice spicey kick. Our rule of thumb is microplane for raw onion flavors, whole onions for the stewed/braised goodness. We’re not really averse to onions, just a little fussy about chunky under cooked onions. Now, properly browned and deglazed onions? Perfection.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Marchmaine says:

      And in the opposite direction, if you just want some pungent strength without the onion flavor, my wife and I found that the French Breakfast Radishes we grew in our garden added a pretty healthy kick without being onion-y.Report

  7. Fish says:

    I’ve started adding the fresh basil (as opposed to the dried basil) to the simmer portion of my sauce-making. And I really like basil, so I add A LOT. What a difference.

    And re: Onions and garlic: As my sauce has evolved over the years I’ve settled on chopping my onions (red onions) and crushing about six cloves of garlic in my handy-dandy garlic press and saute-ing that in 1/4 cup of olive oil over low heat until the onions are translucent. If I put bell peppers in my sauce, they’d go in about halfway through the saute process to pull out some of their flavor.

    I’ve found sauce that I really like pre-made and I haven’t made my own sauce in years. Maybe that’s a project for this weekend…Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Fish says:

      I find that putting in the peppers right before serving means that they’re still raw and crunchy. Of course, by the time you put the rest of the sauce in tupperware and then in the fridge, they’ll be cooked by morning…

      But that first ladleful? Mmmmm. The crunchy peppers are fun.Report

      • Fish in reply to Jaybird says:

        And I hasten to add–the premade sauce I buy is just the base. I doctor the hell out of it before serving it.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Fish says:

          I’m not gonna lie. Making this sauce takes a couple of hours and that’s not counting the crockpot time.

          But this is one of those rare Martha Stewart Was Right things. Putting in that much more effort actually results in something that much better.Report

  8. Pinky says:

    It’s amazing how far you can stretch pesto sauce. It’s like the opposite of tomato sauce. With tomato sauce, you always worry about not having enough. If you’re not sure, dump a gallon more on top. It’ll all get absorbed. But with pesto sauce, if you want to make a dish better, put in less. That’s not to say I don’t like pesto. And it doesn’t overwhelm you if you use too much (although it can get a little oily). But that jar looks right for eight servings.Report

  9. jason says:

    You might try half ground beef and half Italian sausage for your sauce. It’s good–you can even use the low fat burger because the sausage will make up for it. (But it looks like you have your recipe down and it looks good)Report

  10. I might try this recipe. I have my own spaghetti sauce, but not a meat sauce, and yours looks good.

    I agree with this especially:

    “Jaybird, I hear you ask. Could I not instead use dried spices? Would that not save everybody a lot of time?

    Yes, you can and yes it would.


  11. Em Carpenter says:

    Looks delicious, minus the scourge that is the bell pepper. I’m gonna try it soon.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Em Carpenter says:

      Nothing wrong with bell peppers, especially if you have someone in the house whose insides react badly to strong spices. Although I’ve never figured out why pizza places only have the bitter green peppers instead of the much better tasting colors…Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Maribou doesn’t like the green peppers but finds the orange and yellow ones quite pleasing.

        I prefer the green primarily because they’re pretty. You’ve got your red sauce but then, BAM! A KERNEL OF GREEN! HA!

        But I understand that there are people who care less about that sort of thing than I.Report

  12. Aaron David says:

    It is supposed to be 99* here tomorrow. I think I will be drinking G&T’s and maybe watching a movie.Report