cooklybookly
Prep 10 minutes
Total 3 hours
Serves
US | Metric
Ragù Bolognese

A delicious, rich meat sauce with layers upon layers of flavour. The key to a tasty ragù is patience. Low and slow is the name of the game. It’ll take around 3 hours from start to finish, but most of that time is hands-off. Serve the ragù Bolognese-style with pappardelle or use it as a base for a lasagna (get my Classic Lasagna recipe here).

Ingredients
  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 g smoked pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 500 g beef mince (10% fat)
  • 2 tbsps double concentrated tomato purée
  • sea salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1 x 400g tin of good-quality whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 200 ml good-quality chicken stock
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the fresh rosemary sprigs and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. Add the white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is almost all reduced , 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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. 


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Passionate home-chef, food enthusiast and recipe creator, based in London. Creating healthy, delicious dishes, outrageously indulgent treats and everything in between!

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