Some dishes are so popular they stay on a restaurant’s menu for years – there’d be a riot if they were replaced! Vero Bistro’s Ragù Bolognese is such a dish, and much requested. Many thanks to Chef Jenny Chan for sharing her recipe!
1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely and evenly diced
2 small (or 1 very large) carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery heart (or 1 large stalk), finely diced
2 garlic cloves, very finely diced
1 bay leaf
Grey salt and freshly ground black pepper
500 g ground pork cheek or hock
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine
1 cup (250 mL) milk
500 g fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1⁄2 cup sundried San Marzano tomatoes
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) chicken stock
Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
- Heat the oil and butter together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring until vegetables are softened.
- Increase the heat to high and add the meat gradually, stirring and breaking up lumps between each addition. This allows its liquid to evaporate, which is key if you want to brown your meat and not boil it. When no pink can be seen and no lumps remain, set a timer to 15 minutes. You want your meat to caramelize and even become crispy in spots. You want golden bits of meat to stick to the bottom of your pan, which will be deglazed with the wine.
- Over medium heat, pour the white wine into the saucepan. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Push the meat all around to make sure you scrape it all off. By the time you’re finished (2-3 minutes), the wine will be evaporated. Be careful not to let the meat stick again (lower heat if necessary).
- Add remaining ingredients, and season with fresh ground black pepper and grey sea salt. Bring to a boil then turn to the lowest heat and let simmer very slowly until the aroma comes. If it is too thin for your liking, thicken with potato starch with a 1 Tbs:2 Tbs starch to water ratio, when the sauce is boiling.
- Add a couple of knobs of butter, and serve over cooked pasta sprinkled with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.