What is meat ragu anyway? It’s a sauce made of braised or stewed meats that have a small amount of tomatoes in the sauce versus a tomato-based sauce with meat in it. When making a ragu, the meats you use can vary and be a combination of meats, like what this recipe calls for. A ragu also contains a good amount of liquids for the braising part of the dish. They are typically broths, stocks, red wine, cream, milk, and or tomatoes. As in this recipe, I use a combination of some of those liquids. In my opinion it is the best way to have a meat sauce, sure you will have to cook it for about an hour but the depth of flavor will make it worth the time you invest in the dish. This is one of those dishes that will need a good amount of seasoning (salt) but remember start in small amounts until you taste all the ingredients come to life, then stop.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1lb ground beef
1 large onion, diced
½ cup bacon, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup red wine, dry (not sweet)
2 celery stalks, minced (optional)
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled minced (optional)
¼ cup tomato paste
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 ½ cup whole milk
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 ½ cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp each granulated onion, garlic powder
1lb penne or fettuccine, prepared
1lb ground pork salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven or large pot that can hold all the liquids and meats. Add the onion, celery, and carrots until softened. Add pork, beef and bacon and cook until browned and completely cooked. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary, onion powder and garlic powder and cook until fragrant – 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and mix into meats and cook for another 2 minutes. Now add the red wine and let it absorb completely into meat about 1 minute. Add 5 cups of the chicken stock and some salt to the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 ½ hours. Check the seasoning (salt and pepper) and adjust it. Heat the milk in a microwave to warm it. Add the milk to the sauce and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes until milk is absorbed into the sauce. You may need to add more chicken stock to thin out the sauce at this point. Add a small amount at a time until it is thinned out to your liking.
To finish the sauce, add the butter and check the seasoning again, adjust it, if needed. Serve over pasta with parmesan cheese.
About Chef Mariea Cobb
I come from a long line of women who share the gift of food with their families. As a kid I loved learning and experimenting in the kitchen, that did not change when I grew up and trained at The Art Institute. As a pastry chef I am still passionate about the art of good food and the magic of a great dessert. My team and I are bringing Crumb Scene to life in 2015 and hope you will join us.
Mariea Cobb – firstname.lastname@example.org