Lamb ‘Bolognese’

Mix a little cooking skills from Bologna to the great chefs of Crete and you can make a great meat sauce that is perfect with pasta, over clams, or countless other meals like a delicious Greek lasagna.  It is truly delicious and can be made and frozen up to 6 months.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 celery stocks,  minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 6 thickly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 4 chicken livers
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 4 pounds of ground lamb (you can use ground chuck as well, 80:20)
  • 1 cup of full bodied red wine
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 28 ounce cans pureed Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes strained

Making It

  • In a food processor fitted with a the steel blade mince the onions, put in a bowl
  • In the same processor,  mince the carrots and celery at the same time, put in a bowl
  • Wipe the bowl of the food processor clean and add the prosciutto and pulse 10 times for a rough chop, then add the chicken livers and pulse until they are finely chopped
  • Heat milk in sauce pan to hot but do not let bubble, then keep it warm on low flame
  • Heat the broth and four cans of tomatoes until hot
  • Put the oil in the heavy dutch oven and turn heat to medium high.  Add the onion and pepper flakes,  cook for 5 minutes until translucent, but do not brown them, stir frequently.
  • Add the celery and carrot and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the liver/prosciutto mix, garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, leaving it a little pink.  Crumble up the ground lamb and cook in the pot for 8-10 minutes until it is a little pink…remember this is going to cook for hours more 

At this point, you will see some oil in the pot, take a ladle and remove 2/3 of the oil and discard.

  • Add the wine to the pot and cook it down for 8-10 minutes or until it evaporates. Don’t be impatient as you do not want a soupy ragu
  • Add the milk and cook until evaporated then add the tomato paste and stir in with a wooden spoon
  • Season with  1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • Add the broth/ tomato mix and stir with the spoon
  • Cook on low, uncovered, for 2 1/2 hours and be sure to stir every 30 minutes with a wooden spoon, season to taste and serve

You want to use the wooden spoon to slowly break-down the whole tomatoes as they cook

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