Ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese Meat Sauce)

See the RecipeChristopher Hirsheimer

This recipe came from the well known Simili sisters of Bologna. They prepare a delicate brodo di carne, or meat broth, for use in their ragu because the sauce doesn't need a lot of additional flavor. Unless you're making brodo for another use, though, any light broth will do.

Ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese Meat Sauce)
This recipe came from the well known Simili sisters of Bologna.
Yield: makes ABOUT 5 CUPS

Ingredients

  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 rib celery, trimmed and minced
  • 12 medium carrot, peeled, trimmed, and minced
  • 2-3 slices prosciutto di Parma (about 1 oz.), finely chopped
  • 2 chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 1 12 lb. ground chuck
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 cup beef, veal, or chicken broth
  • 1 (28-oz.) can Italian plum tomato purée

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft and translucent but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes more. Add prosciutto and chicken livers and cook, stirring, until livers are just cooked and still a little pink, about 1 minute. Add ground chuck, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up meat with the back of the spoon, until just cooked and still a little pink, about 5 minutes more. (To keep meat tender, do not fry or brown.)
  2. Add wine to pot and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add hot milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until milk has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat broth and tomato purée together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot, then add to meat mixture in pot. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 12 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.