Felicity Cloake’s bolognese
- May 2014
- Generous knob of butter
- 100g British free-range smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 250g coarsely minced British beef, at room temperature
- 40g British free-range chicken livers, finely chopped (See Food team’s tip)
- 150ml whole milk
- Nutmeg for grating
- 150ml dry white wine
- 400ml tin plum tomatoes
- Tagliatelle and grated parmesan, to serve
- Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole set over a gentle heat, then add the bacon. Once the bacon fat has started to melt, add the onion, and cook gently until softened, then tip in the carrot, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the celery and cooking for a further 2 minutes.
- Crumble the beef into the pan and brown, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps. Season, then stir in the chicken liver (see tip) and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 125C/fan115C/gas 1/2. Pour in the milk, and grate a little nutmeg over the top. Simmer gently until almost all the milk has evaporated, which should take about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and the tomatoes and stir well. Bring everything to a simmer then put the casserole into the oven, with the lid slightly ajar, and cook for at least 3 hours (4 is even better) until the meat is very tender. Check on it occasionally and top up with a little water if it seems too dry, although this probably won’t be necessary. Serve with pasta or gnocchi and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
The chicken livers here give a rich gaminess to the ragù. However, if you’re not a fan, just omit them – it will still taste fantastic.
The cooked ragù will sit, covered, in the fridge for 3 days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months.
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