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Main Dishes - Meat Yosemite Chef's Holiday 2014
Beef 2/14/2014


Submitted by: Glenn and Marlys

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Servings: Many! Half recipe is a lot.

This ragu recipe was an add-on to Peter Chastain's presentation at the Yosemite Chef's Holiday because he was showing us how to stuff huge olives with ragu, lightly bread and deep fry them. Yum!

But we made the recipe just for pasta because it looked so good, and is so different from the Meat Sauce, Bolognese style we have included on the website from Marcella Hazan, which uses white wine, not red, and much less flavoring. The Hazan version is used in her Baked Polenta with Meat Sauce recipe, which we always loved. I'm curious how it would change substituting this ragu instead.

This yields a very intense flavor, a deep red color, and irresistible taste. Do not skip the chicken livers, or any of the flavoring meats, or the chicken broth. It all adds up. There's about 3 and pounds of meat altogether, and it blends beautifully, but it makes a LOT, so adjust as needed.

Extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 medium sized carrot, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 ounces pancetta, finely minced
1 pounds beef chuck, ground on the large holes of a grinder, or finely minced (I asked the butcher to grind it)
1 pound pork butt, ground on the large holes of a grinder, or finely minced
6 ounces chicken livers, cleaned and coarsely chopped
6 ounces prosciutto with fat, finely minced
teaspoon nutmeg
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 hot dried arbol chile, deseeded (I minced this also)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups red wine
cup "double" tomato paste
6 cups or more of strong broth, unsalted and hot (Peter used chicken)
1 cup whole milk

1. Add the olive oil to a hot pan. Make a soffrito out of the onion, carrot, celery and pancetta. Saute together well in a heavy bottomed 6 quart pot until the onion begins to turn golden.

2. Add the beef and pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat while stirring until the meat gives up all its juice and browns.

3. Add the chicken liver, prosciutto and spices. Cook for a few minutes more, then add the wine and tomato paste. Let the wine boil away slowly until only a little syrupy liquid remains.

4. Begin adding the hot broth about a cup at a time allowing each addition to reduce almost entirely before the next addition. Continue until the ragu is "sauce like", about two hours.

5. Stir in the milk, turn up the heat and stir to finish. Adjust seasoning to taste.

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