Bolognese That Will Blow You Away

Thursday Nov 22nd, 2018


Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce that originated in Bologna, Italy, hence the name.  In Italy, it is known as ragù alla bolognese or commonly just ragù.  Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a slowly cooked sauce, and its preparation involves several techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising. Ingredients include a characteristic soffrito of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped beef, often alongside small amounts of fatty pork, white wine, milk, and a small amount of tomato concentrate or tomatoes are added, and the dish is then gently simmered at length to produce a thick sauce. In 1982 the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for authentic ragù alla bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce (incorporating some fresh pancetta and a little milk).


This rich and hearty sauce is  a meat sauce with tomoatoes, not a tomato sauce with meat.  It is by far my favourite recipe not only because it is delicious but my house smells amazing for days and I often have people over to share it with me which is half the fun of cooking.  I hope you'll give it a try and please comment if you give it a try!  I'd love to hear from you. 


Step 1: Mise-en-place - Get all your ingredients organized, chopped and ready. Make sure all soffrito items are about the same size for even cooking. You'll need a good sized stock pot for this as it makes quite a bit.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion
4 small carrots
4 stalks celery heart
4 garlic cloves

4 oz. of diced pancetta

3lb of meat mixture-veal, beef, and pork

1 cup dry white wine
2 cups milk
1 28-oz San Marzano tomatoes, diced (use liquid)
1 cup beef stock


Step 2: Melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the soffrito and add a healthy pinch of salt and cook until soft (about 5-8 minutes).


Step 3: Add in the pancetta and cook about 10-15 minutes.  I always like to make sure the pieces aren't too big.


Step 4: Add in the meats about 1/3 at a time so they cook evenly.  Stir as you add to incorporate the meats and to ensure it's fully cooked. I like to buy 1 pound each of ground beef, ground pork and ground veal.  I usually buy leaner meats but it is not required.


Step 5:  Add in 1 cup of white wine and scrap any bit that may be on the bottom of the pan.  Cook for 2-5 minutes to cook out the alcohol (keep a glass of wine handy for yourself!).  Add in the milk, tomatoes and beef broth and stir to combine.


Step 6: Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for at least 4 hours stirring occasionally so that the flavour develops.  After a few hours, the colour will deepen and the sauce will thicken.


Step 7: Get some baguette ready for dipping and enjoy the deliciousness served over pappardelle, tagliatelle or rigatoni.  It freezes well, is a crowd pleaser and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. 

Bon Appetit! 




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