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Ragu Bolognese
The Washington Post Wine Club Ragu Bolognese

Ragu Bolognese

Main Course
Like many long-simmered sauces, this Bolognese, arguably the most delicious of all the Italian meat sauces, tastes even better the next day.
Wine Pairing
Wine Pairing
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 to 3 thin slices prosciutto, finely chopped
2 chicken livers, finely chopped
3/4 pound ground chuck
3/4 pound ground pork
1/4 to 1/2 whole nutmeg, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk, heated
One 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 cup no-salt-added chicken, veal or beef broth
Heat the butter and oil together in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, just until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto and chicken livers and cook until the livers are pale pink, about 1 minute. Add the ground chuck and pork, season with nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, breaking up the meat with the back of the spoon, until you can still see a little pink, about 5 minutes. Avoid frying or browning the meat.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine to the pot and cook until it has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Heat the tomato puree and broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot, then add it to the meat mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 6 to 7 hours, adjusting the heat so the ragu is barely bubbling. Add water, if needed, to keep the ragu loose and saucy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from "Canal House Cooks Every Day," by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012). Tested by Jane Touzalin.

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