Friday, March 9, 2012

Lamb and Beef Ragu

This was the best meat sauce I have ever made - seriously - it was so tender and flavorful - I wish you could have smelled and tasted it. Basically like a bolognese sauce - only with some extra tastiness! The original recipe I got out of the newspaper called for only lamb, but I decided to do 1/2 beef and let me say - don't just do all beef - the lamb added so much flavor, but it wasn't overwhelming. For those of you who think they don't like lamb, or that your children won't like it - pretend it's just beef - I promise they will LOVE it! I will be making this again. And again. I served over pappardelle and it was perfect. I'm so glad it made a ton, because I could (and will!) eat this for days - it only gets better!

The Perfect Ragu serves about 6

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb (I used Anderson -if you can't get that just make sure it's good quality)
tablespoon each olive oil and butter
3 oz pancetta diced (or bacon if you can't find)
1 small onion finely chopped
couple carrots diced small
1 stalk celery finely chopped
1 & 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or a fresh sprig if you have one)
couple parsley sprigs left whole- this is so easy to grow
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1/3 cup creme fraiche or cream
s&p to taste
shredded parmigiano

In a large dutch oven add a little olive oil just to coat and then brown both meats. When lightly browned remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and drain off the fats. Add the butter & rest of the olive oil and then the pancetta cooking until it's lightly browned. Next add the chopped veggies and cook on low heat until very soft about 20 min. Return the meat to the pot and turn the heat up to high adding the wine and cooking until it is almost evaporated. Lower the heat again and add the tomato paste, cocoa, cinnamon, stock and herbs. Simmer on very low heat - just a little bit bubbling every now and then for about 2 1/2 hours. Every 20-30 min when you stir add a little bit of the 1/2 and 1/2 finishing it off during the cooking time - it should gently melt into the sauce. Remove the parsley and stir in the creme fraiche. Taste and add s&p to your liking. Serve over pappardelle (big wide egg noodles) and top with freshly grated parm. Your taste buds will love you - and so will whoever is lucky enough to be eating this with you.

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