Chicken livers add a particular gamy depth to rustic ragù made with several kinds of meat. See the recipe for Ragù Enriched with Chicken Livers ». André Baranowski
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This rustic version of ragu calls for several different kinds of meat, each contributing a different dimension to the sauce, but it’s the chicken livers in particular that lend a gamy depth.

Ragù Enriched with Chicken Livers Ragù Enriched with Chicken Livers (Ragu di Fegato di Pollo)
This rustic version of ragu calls for several different kinds of meat, each contributing a different dimension to the sauce, but it's the chicken livers in particular that lend a gamy depth.
Yield: makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. Homemade Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 13 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 (2-oz.) piece pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 34 lb. ground beef chuck
  • 14 lb. ground pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 18 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 chicken livers (about 2 oz.)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over medium heat. Put tomato paste into a small bowl and pour in 1 cup broth; stir to dissolve. Set tomato-infused broth aside. (Keep remaining broth hot.) In another saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. Add cloves, remove from heat, and let steep, covered, for 1 hour. Remove cloves; set milk aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add pancetta; cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 30-35 minutes. Stir in beef and pork; cook, stirring and breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high, add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until wine is evaporated, about 6 minutes. Lower heat to medium, stir in nutmeg and reserved tomato-infused broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, add 1⁄2 cup reserved hot broth, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until all the broth has been used (this should take about 1 1⁄2 hours).
  3. Add chicken livers to sauce; cook for 8 minutes. Using a fork, remove and mash livers with a tablespoon or two of the milk. Return livers to sauce along with remaining milk; simmer until thick and velvety, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with tortellini or the pasta of your choice, or use in lasagne. Serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano.

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