- Mise en place is your friend! Prep the following ingredients: 1) Dice the smoked pancetta into small cubes (around ½ cm). 2) Finely chop the sweet onion, carrots and celery stalks. 3) Thinly slice the garlic cloves. 4) Measure out the white wine. 5) Carefully pour the tinned tomatoes into a medium bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands. 6) Measure out the chicken stock. 7) Measure out the milk.
- Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the smoked pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is browned and beginning to crisp, around 8 minutes.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery stalks and cook, stirring occasionally, until nice and soft, around 10 minutes; the goal here is to cook the veg gently without it taking on any colour.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the fresh rosemary sprigs and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the beef mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or potato masher (it works surprisingly well!). Cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the double concentrated tomato purée and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the meat mixture with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly-ground black pepper.
- Add the white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is almost all reduced , 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the crushed tinned tomatoes, chicken stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- If needed, simmer the ragù uncovered over medium-low heat to thicken, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Serve Bolognese-style with tagliatelle or pappardelle or use it as a base for a delicious lasagna.
STORAGE: the ragù can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, loosen with a little stock or water and heat over the stove or in the microwave until piping hot. It also freezes exceptionally well; cool, transfer to freezer-safe, airtight containers or freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight and heat over the stove or in the microwave until piping hot.