Friday, May 22, 2015

Extra-Meaty Ragú Napoletano

Every now and then, we get a craving for some old-school, rustic, meaty tomato sauce with pasta.  I've tried my hand at a couple different versions of bolognese, but there was always something missing. This meat sauce, on the other hand, is basically perfection, and I'm psyched to have 3 quarts more of it waiting for me in the freezer to satisfy our next craving...

I changed a couple things from the original recipe, but I suspect it's pretty great as written, too.  First up, it seemed strange to use only onions and garlic as a base, so I added a bit of diced celery and carrot to the mix...
 I also changed up the meat a bit, due to having to make do with what was available with my grocery delivery.  In this case it was about 3 pounds of beef chuck and 4 pounds of St. Louis style pork ribs.  (I made about a batch and a half from that).  I swerved on the sausage, too, using bulk pork sausage from my local butcher rather than sausage in its casing as the recipe calls for.  The hunks of meat were seasoned and browned...
When the meat is browned, I sauteed the vegetables for a bit before adding the sausage and cooking until browned.
After adding the pepper flakes and oregano (both of which I doubled the quantity on), the pot was in need of some deglazing, so I poured in about 4 cups of dry red wine and let the reducing begin...  I've always hated that color.... Blech.
When the wine is mostly gone, you add a few big cans of whole tomatoes, a paremsan rind, and some basil. 
This is about the time that I realized I was an idiot... and that there was definitely not room in that pot for the 7 pounds of browned meat to go back in...  Thus pot change number one for this adventure...   Once everything was combined and up to a simmer in the big pot, it went into a 300°F oven for a few hours, until the meats are falling-apart tender.
I couldn't actually fit that pot into thee fridge to cool, so I transferred to yet another pot where the sauce could cool overnight.  It looked gross yet awesome in the morning...
I removed the bones and shredded the meat gently, then added the fish sauce and seasoned to taste. From here, the sauce went into vacuum bags where I went ahead and cooked it for 30 hours at 165°F, just to get all that meaty goodness fully melted together...
No time for homemade pasta this time, but I there were no complaints when I dished the sauce up with store-bought fettucine.
 
 Just for fun, we topped the pasta with a bit of mozzarella and melted it up with the Searzall...
 A bit of fresh basil, and you're looking at a spectacularly delicious bowl of comfort...

No comments: