The building of a ragu involves three simple steps: browning the vegetables
and meats, reducing flavorful liquids over the browned foods to build up
layers of taste, then covering them with liquid and simmering gently until
the flavors have blended and the meats are tender. Ragu`s should be rich
without being heavy. A ragu is a meat sauce with tomato, it is not a tomato
sauce with meat.
1/2 cup heavy cream
10 ounces pancetta, diced
1 cup small diced carrots
3/4 cup small diced celery
1 cup small diced onions
3/4 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Italian tomato paste, diluted in 10 tablespoons beef stock
1 cup whole milk
Salt and black pepper
In a small sauce pot, bring the cream up to a simmer and reduce by 1/3. About
6 tablespoons of cream should be remaining. In a sauce pot, render the pancetta
over medium heat, about 8 minutes, or until almost all the fat is rendered.
Stir in the carrots, celery, and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute
the vegetables for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are translucent.
In a mixing bowl, combine the meats. Season the meats with salt and pepper.
Increase the heat and stir in the meat. Brown the meat for 5 minutes, or
until the meat is medium brown in color and is in peas size granular pieces. Stir in the wine, garlic and diluted
tomato paste, and reduce the heat to very low. Cook partially covered for
2 hours. From time to time stir in a tablespoon or so of the milk, by the
end of the two hours the milk should be incorporated. Stir in the reduced
cream. Season with salt and black pepper.
Yield: 4 servings