As far as I’m concerned, everyone should know how to make a ragu and this is a good one! We worked long and hard to perfect this and let me tell you, it’s all about having different kinds of meat.
In this recipe we have used a mix of Italian sausage, ground beef and chuck. The combination of tomatoes, the seared, slow cooked chuck, sauted mirepoix, beef and Italian sausage create it’s own magic elixir, which is absolutely delightful.
By the way, I am gal that loves slow cooking and I don’t like to rush the process. So I slow cook in a dutch oven on a stove for several hours and the outcome is nothing short of soul food.
- 1 ¼ pound of chuck, cut into 3 pieces
- 3 tsp salt, divided
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 slices compliant bacon
- 1 ½ cups chopped onion
- ¾ cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ pound spicy Italian pork sausage, uncooked
- ½ pound ground beef (85/15)
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
- 2 cups chicken stock, warmed
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ 28 oz cans (42 oz total) whole peeled plum tomatoes, blended
- 1 bay leaf
Season the chuck with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Over medium high heat, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Sear the beef on both sides, until brown, about 9 minutes total. Remove and set aside.
In the same Dutch oven, add the remaining 1 tsp olive oil. Once warm, add the bacon, onion, carrots and celery, stirring occasionally and cooking for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
Add the sausage and ground beef and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and keep to use for something else.
Add the sherry vinegar and 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, cook for 1 minute, stirring often to de-glaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits.
Dissolve the tomato paste in the warm chicken stock, stirring until blended together well. Pour this mixture into the Dutch oven.
Add the blended tomatoes, 2 tsp salt, the remaining 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and the chuck. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
When the chuck is soft, remove and shred with two forks, removing any fatty pieces. Place it back into the sauce and remove bay leaf. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve.