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The Hirshon Ragù alla Bolognese

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 Tbsp lard (or use unsalted butter)
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground skirt steak
  • 2/3 lb. ground quality lean pork meat (chuck/shoulder or loin)
  • 1/4 lb. pork belly (skinned), ground
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta, ground
  • 1 medium onion, 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk – all finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup red wine
  • 20 oz Pelati tomatoes crushed or run through a food mill
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • beef stock (use low-salt if canned)
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • ***
  • Tagliatelle pasta
  • Freshly-grated parmesan
  • Pepper


  1. Heat oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry ground pork belly/pancetta about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables and fry for about 10 minutes until they start to soften and color a bit, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally.
  3. Add the remaining ground meat, breaking it up with a fork and cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the liquid that the meat releases is evaporated.
  4. Add red wine, stir and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol.
  5. Add tomato sauce, sage, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and cover the meat with some beef stock.
  6. Partially cover with a lid and simmer ragù for at least 4 hours (6 is better), stirring occasionally (about every 90 minutes). At hour 4, skim off all the fat and put some back into the sauce (as much as you think is needed – no more than ¼ of the total should be needed).
  7. During that time, if you see that the sauce is drying out beyond acceptable levels, add some stock (not at the end of the cooking time though!). Stir in cream, minced parsley and ¼ cup of freshly-grated parmesan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  8. Serve over tagliatelle for the true Bolognese experience! Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water. Drain and divide between plates. Sprinkle a little parmesan over the pasta before adding a good ladleful of the sauce. Finish with a further scattering of cheese and a twist of black pepper.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours