Spaghetti Bolognese

This is one of my all time favourite recipes based on a recipe from Marcella Hazans book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  A friend and fellow winemaker in the region gave us the book for our wedding and it has turned into one of my go to cook books in the kitchen.  The time commitment to this is large but the rewards at the end are totally worth it.  If you are looking for a rich and hearty Bolognese this is definitely the one!

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 cup Chopped onion
1 1/3 cups chopped celery
1 1/3 cups chopped carrot
250 grams beef mince
250 grams pork mince
250 grams veal mince
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups dry white wine (such as Four Winds Vineyard Riesling!)
2 400 gram cans whole tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy 5-litre sauce pan over medium heat until the butter melts and stops foaming. Drop in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it has become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Dump in the celery and carrot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well with the fat.
  3. Add the ground meats, a healthy pinch of salt, and a goodly amount of pepper.  Crumble the meat with a wooden spoon, and stir until the meats have lost their raw, red colour.
  4. Turn the heat to low.  Pour in the milk and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has burbled away completely, about 1 hour.  Stir in the nutmeg.
  5. Pour in the wine and let it simmer, stirring frequently, until it has evaporated, about 1 1/4 hours.
  6. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat everything well.  When the tomato begins to bubble, turn down the heat so that the sauce cooks a the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface.
  7. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring rom time to time.  While the sauce is burbling away, there’s a chance that it will start drying out somewhat, and the fat will separate from the meat.  To keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and scorching, add 1/2 cup water as necessary. But it is crucial that by the time the sauce has finished simmering, the water should be completely evaporated, and the fat should separate from the sauce.  Take a spoonful or two.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.