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Do You "De-Fat" Your Meat Sauce?

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Home Cooking 22

Do You "De-Fat" Your Meat Sauce?

CindyJ | Apr 22, 2009 07:15 AM

In the process of making a meat sauce for pasta, there are two points at which I ignore that pesky little inner voice that tells me I ought to remove as much fat as possible from the pot. The first point occurs after the meat has finished browning. There it is -- all that fat that's been rendered from the ground meat, and/or Italian sausage, plus the olive oil I used to saute the garlic (and sometimes onion) -- and, at that point, it would be soooo easy to get rid of it. ALL of it. That little voice implores me to dump the contents of the pot into a strainer, to press the meat with whatever utensil until every last drop of fat is gone, to return the meat to the pot and continue with my recipe. But almost always, I ignore that little voice.

The second opportunity to de-fat happens after the sauce is finished, and it's been sitting in the pot for a little while. There it is -- that pool of fat that's risen to the top of the sauce. How easy it would be to spoon the fat off at that point. But instead, I glance around to see if anyone is watching, and if it's "all-clear" I stir the sauce! That's right -- I stir the fat back into the sauce. Why...? Because I've come to believe the fat holds flavor, and to remove it would be to remove a layer of complexity from my sauce. That little voice, I am convinced, is the voice of sabotage, NOT the voice of eating healthy.

So I'm curious to know what you do with the fat -- keep it or remove it? Do YOU believe, as I do, that leaving the fat in adds something besides calories to the sauce? (Would that make it "lipidicious"?) Or is it a specious argument I use to justify my unabashed fondness of fatty foods?

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