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Share your loveliest ragu/bolognese recipe

(4 Posts)
nappyaddict Thu 13-Dec-12 17:47:06

Here is mine:

I use a variaton of this recipe depending on what we do and don't have in.

8 tbsp butter
1 onion sliced
1 carrot finely chopped or grated
1 celery stick chopped
1 pepper (red, yellow or orange) deseeded and sliced
1/2 butternut squash chopped or grated
1 courgette chopped or grated
125-250ml dry white wine
40-85g smoked back bacon, prosciutto or pancetta chopped or minced (or a mix is nice)
100g minced beef (preferably thin skirt of flank brisket)
100g minced pork
1 chicken liver chopped (Be sure to remove the slightest trace of green bile, because if not the chicken liver will be very bitter. Don’t chop it but rather crush it with the blade of a knife and separate the nerve fibres from the pieces of flesh and, once done completely, chop the pieces with a knife alone. This should be carried out with care, because if nerve fibres stay attached to the liver, it will not amalgamate well with the other ingredients and so its flavour will be too strong.)
30-120ml double cream
300ml passata or 1 of plum tomatoes blended and sieved (the seeds make it bitter if you don't sieve)
4 teaspoons marigold swiss bouillon powder or 1 knorr beef stock pot
10-15 cherry vine tomatoes or sundried tomatoes cut in half
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 squares of 90% dark chocolate (optional)
1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese (optional)
Parmesan or grana padano (I sometimes mix it with extra mature cheddar)

Place passata or blended tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and marigold powder or stock pot in a saucepan on a low flame.

Sweat onion for 10 mins in half the butter. Remove onions from the pan and set aside. In that pan add the celery and sweat for 1 minute, then add the other vegetables and sweat for 10 mins.

In a different pan pour in a good slug of wine to deglaze the pan. Add bacon, prosciutto or pancetta and fry for 1-2 minutes to release the fat. Free the centre of the pan by moving the bacon, prosciutto or pancetta to the edge. Chicken liver coagulates immediately and it would cling to any ingredient in its vicinity and impart its flavour to it, which would become too intense. Therefore, place the chicken liver in the middle of the pan alone, continuously flattening and stirring it until it completely changes colour, which shows that it has cooked. Then and only then, bring everything back to the middle of the pan and stir everything together for a moment.

Add mince. (I sometimes add 1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese here) Somehow the wine seems to prevent the mince from clumping. Add half of the double cream spoon by spoon around the edge of the pan whilst stirring (you don't want cold cream going straight onto the meat) until completely reduced. Fry for 5 minutes until soft and grey, not brown. Then add the rest of the wine in 3 doses (again around the edge of the pan, avoiding the meat). You need the wine to evaporate before adding the tomatoes else you will get a metallic taste. The wine will have completely evaporated, not when you see it disappear as liquid from the pan but rather when you can’t detect its aroma any more.

Stir in onions and veg. Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir in tomato sauce and stock mixture. Stir in chocolate now if you are going to. Simmer for 15 mins. Stir again and simmer for at least another 15 mins. If you have time simmer for another 4-6 hours, or even better put in the slow cooker on low all day. During the last 20 minutes of cooking stir in the rest of the double cream, knob of butter, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. Turn the heat up and cook it to the point where it is almost (almost!) burning to give it a lovely caramelised, roasted sauce. Serve with cheese.


Cybbo Thu 13-Dec-12 17:49:36

That sounds like a lot of work! I make Jamie's reive from Ministry of food which uses beef and pork mince. And zero chicken livers. Yuck

Cybbo Thu 13-Dec-12 17:49:54


Jollyb Thu 13-Dec-12 17:57:17

I saw a recipe on TV the other day (that Welsh/Italian woman) and have been quite impressed. The key is not to use any tinned tomatoes but lots of tom purée instead which is apparently how it is done in Bologna.

Basically fry pancetta then add onion, celery and carrot and fry til soft. Add mince. Then red wine. Then loads of Tom purée (ie a tube)and some water. Beef stock cube and a couple of bay leaves then simmer for ages.

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