Monday, October 19, 2009

Slow-cooked Ragu by Marcella Hazan

Bolognese Meat Sauce
Marcella Hazan from her book "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking"

1 TB olive oil
1 TB butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, cleaned and cut into small dice
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 pound ground lean beef (preferably chuck or neck)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 ts nutmeg
1.5 cups canned Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped

1. Use an earthenware pot for making the sauce. Since it is long and slow cooked, this works best to not burn it. A slow cooker would also work.

2. In a skillet, add oil and butter with chopped onion. Turn heat on to medium. Cook and stir onion until translucent. Add chopped celery and carrot. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.

3. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Break up the meat with a fork and only cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color, but don't brown it.

4. Add the wine and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has evaporated. Add the 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg and stir.

5. Add the milk and nutmeg, and let simmer, stir often and wait until the milk has evaporated. This can take a while.

6. When milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn heat down so that the sauce cooks at an ultralow simmer with occasional bubbles breaking. At this point, it can be placed in a slow cooker or continue to cook uncovered for a min of 3 1/2 to 5h, stirring from time to time.

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