The Best Bolognese

 Best Bolognese

Ingredients For Best Bolognese

  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound ground meat  
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3 ounces pancetta(Italian bacon), cut into 1/8-inch pieces 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated 
  • 2 large stalks of celery, cut into 1/8-inch pieces 
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/8-inch pieces 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/8-inch pieces 
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 bay leaf (tej pat)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (jaifel)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • One 6-ounce can of tomato paste 
  • 1 2/3 cups dry white wine  
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock(yakhni) or water  
  • 1 large Parmesan rind 
  • 1 pound fresh tagliatelle or pappardelle, or dry rigatoni (a traditional type of pasta)
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving 

Directions For Best Bolognese

  • In a large mixing basin, combine the meat and pork. As though shredding pulled pork, “pull” the ground meat apart with two forks, breaking up clumps and integrating the flesh without compacting it. Pull the meat apart until it is completely blended and no clumps remain.
  • In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. 4 to 6 minutes, stirring periodically, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is golden brown on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a large mixing bowl, leaving the fat in the pot.
  • Spread half of the ground meat in an equal layer in the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until gently golden brown. Toss and cook, breaking up any clumps with the back of a spoon and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the saucepan, 1 to 2 minutes more, until the beef is lightly browned on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the browned meat to the bowl with the pancetta, leaving the fat in the pot. Rep with the rest of the ground meat.
  • Turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes, with the garlic, celery, carrots, onions, bay leaf, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring regularly until the tomato paste is very aromatic and brick red, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, bring to a boil, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it reduces and thickens and no alcohol odor remains. Combine the stock, milk, and browned meat in a mixing bowl.
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  • Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the Parmesan rind and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture resembles sloppy joes. While cooking, there should be no fast bubbles. Instead, the sauce should erupt in little bubbles every now and then. Use a tiny burner if you have one; larger burners, even on their lowest setting, may cook the sauce too rapidly. If the sauce begins to dry out too soon, add 1/2 cup stock or water and continue to boil; repeat if required. To develop the flavors, the sauce should be cooked for the entire 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rind and set them aside. For an even-textured sauce, use the back of a spoon to break up any leftover clumps of meat. Keep warm by seasoning with salt.
  • Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta. Cook for 3 minutes if using fresh pasta. Cook until very al dente, roughly 2 minutes less than the package guidelines, if using dried pasta.
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  • Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Increase the heat to medium, bring the sauce to a simmer, and cook, tossing the pasta continually, until al dente and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes, adding pasta cooking liquid if necessary.
  • Place the spaghetti on a serving plate and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

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