Many cooks say that for a good ragu’ (Italian for Meat Sauce) different kinds of meat are required: beef, pork, lamb, veal. Purists say that only beef meat is required. I don’t dislike to mix a crumbled good fresh and rather lean sausage with the ground beef.
Meat sauce – or ragù – is made with different meats all over Italy: in the south, especially Apulia, there is a predilection for lamb. In Napoli the meat is not ground: they rather use a whole piece of beef to stew for six or seven hours. What seems to be in common is the use of tomato. Not everybody knows that the tomato is a recent addition to Italian recipes, being original from America. Tomatoes started to appear on Italian tables only at the beginning of the 17 hundred. The real Bolognese sauce is, actually, without tomato. The lack of one ingredients brings also to a different procedure.
Comparing the following recipes, you would notice that in the meat sauce with tomato the vegetable are cooked first, in the Bolognese sauce the vegetable are added later.
300gr ground beef – it shouldn’t be too lean, or the sugo will be dry
2 fresh sausages
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups dry red wine
400gr canned tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water
A pinch of salt
Bay leaves and chopped rosemary
Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and rosemary. Sweat them in the oil until they are almost tender; do not brown. Add the ground beef and the sausage and continue cooking over medium heat until the meat is evenly done. Add the red wine and let evaporate. Add tomato paste diluted in water, canned tomatoes and bay leaves then cover with the broth. Cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
BOLOGNESE MEAT SAUCE
100 gr ( 3 Oz) ground pork meat
100 gr ( 3 Oz) ground veal meat
50 gr ( 1 ½ Oz) minced cured Pancetta
50 gr ( 1 ½ Oz) butter
1 medium onion
1 celery stalk
250 ml ( 1 cup) beef broth
120 ml ( ½ cup) red wine
salt and pepper
Peel, wash and mince the vegetables.
Mix in a bowls the meats and the minced Pancetta.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the meats and braise for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Pour in the red wine, stir, let it to evaporate half.
Add the minced vegetables, lower the heat. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding the broth.
Regulate salt and pepper. Cook to reduce: the sauce must be thick and well amalgamated.
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