Gobble Bog

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

One difference between Sydney and England is that you’ll find a lot of turkey in the supermarket here; whole turkeys, turkey breasts, turkey escallops , turkey drumsticks, and turkey mince… the list goes on. By comparison turkey is rather rare in Australia, I wonder why. As a result I’ve never really thought of cooking it much – in my mind turkey is one those things that traditionalists had for Christmas dinner (I don’t recall having it myself, but we probably did one Xmas or another).

It turns out that turkey actually makes for a decent meal, it has a distinctive and pleasant taste. What’s more it can be very low in fat (lean breast) and high in protein, it also contains a smattering of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Turkey mince tends to have a similar fat content to beef mince because it usually has skin/fat minced in with it, but good turkey breast mince will have less fat than typical lean beef mince. It is mince I’m working with today (2006-11-19), I decided to try a bolognaise style pasta sauce using turkey mince (those who know my various renditions of bolognaise will recognise that this is a pretty broad “style” in my world of bog).

So, without further adieu, here’s the ingredients:

All fine chopped:

  • 2 – Medium Brown Onions
  • 1 – Red Pepper
  • 5 – Medium Chestnut Mushrooms
  • 3 – Small Carrots
  • 2 – Sticks of Celery
  • 4 – Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 – Small Hot Chilies

The rest:

  • 500g – Turkey Mince
  • 1 tbsp – Light Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp – Dried Oregano
  • 2 stars – Star Anise
  • 1 tbsp – Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp – Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp – Ground Coriander Seed
  • ½ cup – Dry Wine
  • 2 tins – Chopped Tomato (Organic if you can get it)
  • 1 litre – Beef Stock


  • 4 tbsp – Fine Chopped Parsley
  • Pecorino Romano (or similar)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper

Heat the oil in a decent sized saucepan (about 28cm wide by 28cm high in my case), when hot put in the turkey mince a bit at a time to break it up. Cook this on high heat until dry and browning, it’ll take a while to evaporate out the water content. When slightly browned add the wine and dry herbs and spices, again cook this until the liquid is evaporated.

When all excess liquid is evaporated add in the chopped onion, garlic and chillies. Cook until onion becomes translucent then put in the rest of the vegetables. Cook this, tossing often, for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle on the flour (this works as a thickening agent) and toss through the mixture then add the tinned tomato and stock. Amount of stock may need adjusting, the liquid should cover about an inch over the settled solids. Mix well and reduce heat so that the liquid is just simmering, let simmer in this way for about an hour – stirring every now and again.

When the hour is up take off the heat and boil an appropriate amount of spaghetti (we used a very nice wholemeal spaghetti). Stir most of the fine chopped parsley into the bolognaise and serve on top of spaghetti, sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley, freshly grate some percoino romano over it, grind on some black pepper and drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil.

Gobble gobble gobble!

This recipe created us two large sized serves with two more in the fridge for another day.