My love-affair with pasta continues. This one is definitely time consuming, but it's worth every last minute.
Taken from Cooks Illustrated, January 1999
Makes 6 C, enough to sauce 2 pounds pasta
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp minced onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
4 Tbsp minced carrot (about 2 carrots)
4 Tbsp minced celery (about 3 stalks)
1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tsp salt
2 C whole milk
2 C dry white wine
2 cans (28 oz EACH) whole tomatoes, packed in juice
Heat butter in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, carrot, and celery and saute until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes.
Add ground meat and salt. Crumble meat with the edge of a wooden spoon to break apart into tiny pieces. Cook, continuing to crumble, just until it loses its raw color but has not yet browned, about 6 minutes.
Add milk and bring to a simmer; continue to simmer until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, about 30 minutes.
Add wine and bring to a simmer; continue to simmer until wine evaporates, 30 minutes longer.
Just after the wine was added.
After 30 minutes of simmering.
Finely chop tomatoes. Add tomatoes and juice and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low so that sauce continues to simmer just barely, with an occasional bubble or two at the surface, until liquid has evaporated, about 4 hours.
Beginning of the four hours.
Middle of the four hours.
Adjust seasonings with extra salt to taste and serve.
End of the four hours.
Can be refrigerated in airtight container for several days or frozen for several months. Warm over low heat before serving.
To make half batch:
Reduce cooking time for meat to 3 minutes. Reduce cooking time for milk and wine to 15 minutes each. Reduce cooking time for finished sauce to 3 hours.
It took lots of hunting to find ground veal. I normally just substitute pork to avoid the hunting. I'm glad I held out for the veal, though. The flavors of the three meats really balanced each other out.
I'm definitely adding this to my list of Sunday meal possibilities. It made enough for us to eat and freeze two meals.