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  • Writer's pictureJason - Dustpan & Brush

Michelin Chef Kitchen Tips for Lockdown!

A treat for the (hopeful) last month of lockdown in Melbourne - today, we’re lucky enough to have a guest post by Michelin and Hatted trained chef, Joe Patalong! During Melbourne lockdowns, Joe has been using his skills from the expert kitchen to help the community, especially while we’re all confined to cooking from home. So, he’s offering a professional knife sharpening service, some professional kitchen tips and tricks and a family bolognese recipe to boot. Yes please! Read on for details, tips, tricks a game-changing bolognese recipe and for how to contact Joe for his knife sharpening service.

Here's Joe doing what he does best!

bedroom dusting, dust mite cleaning, dust allergies

Newly based in St Kilda/Elwood, Joe is a Michelin and Hatted trained chef with over a decade of industry experience. Due to the covid crisis and ongoing lockdowns, kitchens have closed so Joe has sought to use his skills to help the community with a professional knife sharpening service: collected from your door and delivered back to you the same day! We figured while 1) you likely don't have as much on as before, and 2) while we can’t be in your homes, you may as well get messy with some new chef skills and tips for the kitchen; we’ll be there to clean it up in no time 😉 Knife Sharpening Service: $15 - 2 Knives $20 - 3 Knives Contact Joe Here: Joe's Knife Kitchen

Joe's Recipe: Bolognese - Al Famiglia Patalong

You will need

A frying pan, an oven safe pot (preferably cast iron) an oven safe cast iron lid for the pot OR foil to cover the pot when in the oven.



- 4 tbsp olive oil

- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pasted (chef tips below!)

- 1 large brown onion , finely chopped

- 1 lb / 500g beef mince (ground beef)

- 150g smoked bacon (diced into cubes)

- 200ml dry red wine

- 700ml beef stock (or 2 beef bouillon dissolved in 700ml hot water)

- 1 can (~400g / 14 oz) crushed or diced tomato

- 2 tbsp (50g) tomato paste

- 3 dried bay leaves

- 2 sprigs (5g) fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano)

- Salt and pepper to taste

To Serve

- 400 g / 13 oz dried spaghetti, cooked al dente

- Parmesan cheese (grated)


Chef Tips!

Make Garlic Paste like the chefs do!

Get your garlic clove, peel and crush under the blade of the knife. Add a good pinch of salt, then mince the garlic as finely as you can (adding salt is crucial when it comes to mincing and pasting as it acts as an abrasive, but also really helps to season the dish).

Now for the slightly technical part, place the flat of the knife (sharp end facing away from you) atop the minced garlic/salt at a flat 20 degree angle with the blade tip touching the chopping board. Place your fingers from your other hand on top of the knife for guidance and stability, and with a sliding motion, drag the knife towards you over the garlic/salt, making sure the blade edge of the knife doesn’t leave the board, repeat this motion and in about 10 second your garlic will resemble a fine paste!

Easier seen than explained? Have a peek here

Voila - this trick is not only quick, simple and effective, it will significantly change the flavour profile compared to either minced, sliced or crushed garlic alternatives by vastly increasing the surface area of the garlic and allowing it to gently blend the richness of its flavour across the dish you're using it in (garlic obsessives take note). Now let's get to cooking!

Instructions - Heat oven to 180c - Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan (or skillet) over medium high heat, and start to brown 1/3 of the mince. Once browned/caramelised, transfer to a pot. - Repeat the process with the remaining two thirds; add second third, brown and remove to pot, then the last third again to finish. - Return the frying pan to heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and add diced bacon until slightly browned. - When bacon starts to golden, add diced onion, minced/pasted garlic, cook until onions are translucent and caramelised (about 3 minutes), then add to the same pot with mince. - Return the pan to low medium heat, add the red wine to deglaze the pan of all the tasty bits left behind, and reduce slightly (about 3 minutes). Set aside. - Add the pot with the mince, bacon, onion, garlic mixture to medium-high stovetop heat, pour in the canned tomato and 700ml beef stock, add thyme and bay leaves, bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. - Cover pot with foil or a fitted cast-iron oven safe lid - Place into the pre-heated oven, turn oven down to 110c and forget about it for a minimum of 3 hours.

After 3 hours, the Bolognese sauce should now look thick, caramelised, deep red/brown in colour, and one consistency. Oh, and it’ll smell great! Salt and pepper for seasoning to taste right at the end.

If the sauce is not yet one consistency and looks a bit watery, continue to cook in the oven if time permits, otherwise, discard foil/lid, bring to the boil on the stovetop for a few minutes to slightly reduce then back into the oven at a hotter temperate of 160c for 20-30 minutes. Then all you need to do is cook some pasta, enjoy with grated parmesan and the same red wine you used in the Bolognese sauce!

That's it! Enjoy!

Contact Joe here: Joe's Knife Kitchen for his knife sharpening service and of course, contact us here: Dustpan & Brush - Eco Cleaner Melbourne if you've made too much of a mess with all of the cooking you've now been doing



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