Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Childhood Favorite

So, I had planned to ski today and take advantage of the free ticket I had for Loveland but I awoke with a sore body and throat and to a snowstorm. I decided not to fight the roads for what would be fairly short day anyhow and thankfully so as I am now hearing reports of it taking 3 hours to go 4 miles!

So, I decided to pull out the recipe for a childhood favorite that my dad makes. We ALWAYS had some of this in the freezer, ready for a quick meal on busy nights. So, I made a double recipe (below is the single recipe) so I'll have plenty in my own freezer. I hope you enjoy just as much as I do!

Papa's Ragu

3 tablespoons yellow onion -- chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons celery -- chopped
3 tablespoons carrot -- chopped
1 1/2 cups white wine -- dry
3/4 cup milk, skim
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg -- ground
3 cups canned tomatoes -- diced, italian, with juice
1 1/8 pounds ground sirloin

An earthenware pot should be your first choice for making ragu. If you don't have one available, use a heavy, enameled cast-iron casserole, the deepest one you have ( to keep the ragu from reducing too quickly). Put in the chopped onion, with all the oil and butter, and sauté briefly over medium heat until just translucent. Add the celery and carrot and cook gently for 2 minutes.

Add the ground beef, crumbling it in the pot with a fork. Add 1 teaspoon salt, stir and cook only until the meat has lost its raw, red color. Add the wine, turn the heat up to medium high , and cook stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated.

Turn the heat down to medium, add the milk and the nutmeg, and cook until the milk has evaporated. Stir frequently.

When the milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When the tomatoes have started to bubble, turn the heat down until the sauce cooks at the laziest simmer, just an occasional bubble. Cook, uncovered, for a minimum of 3 ½ to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and correct for salt . If you cannot watch the sauce for such a long stretch, you can turn off the heat and resume cooking it later on. But do finish cooking it in one day.

1 comment:

Wendy C. said...

That looks great! I'll have to give it a try!