When you’re cooped up for the winter and looking for an adventurous meal to tackle in the kitchen, Slow-Cooked Bolognese is the one for you! This one takes a little bit of time, but hey, there’s a mountain of snow on the ground out there and you have nowhere to be, so why not spend your minutes making a savory, filling, comfort-food dish, right?! After some work, you’ll be spinning your fork around bouncy pasta covered in a rich, yummy sauce that’s loaded with tender veggies, and not one, not two, not three, but FOUR types of juicy, tender meat. You’ll be full enough to feel content for the rest of the wintry weather season! Be rid of your boredom and give your tastebuds something to talk about… Slow-Cooked Bolognese has you covered for both!

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Ingredients

  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
  • 1-1 1/2 ounces powdered gelatin
  • 1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound chicken livers, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork shoulder
  • 1 pound ground lamb shoulder
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced, divided
  • 2 cups dry white or red wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
  • 2 pounds dried or fresh pasta, preferably pappardelle, tagliatelle, or penne, for serving

Directions

Step 1 –Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position.

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Step 2 –Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Step 3 –In a medium bowl, add the stock and the gelatin.

Step 4 –Transfer the tomatoes to a blender and purée until smooth.

Step 5 –Place the chicken livers in a cup that just fits the head of an immersion blender and purée until smooth.

Step 6 –In a large Dutch oven over high heat, heat the olive oil until it is shimmering.

Step 7 –Add the ground beef, the pork, the lamb, the salt, and the pepper to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

Step 8 –While the beef cooks, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat has mostly rendered out but neither the butter nor the pancetta have started to brown, about 8 minutes.

Step 9 –Take the beef mixture off the heat and stir in the puréed chicken livers.

Step 10 –Add the onion, the carrots, the celery, the garlic, the sage, and 1/2 of the parsley to the pancetta mixture and cook, while stirring and tossing, until the veggies are completely softened but not browned, about 5-8 minutes.

Step 11 –Add the veggie mixture to the beef mixture.

Step 12 –Return the Dutch oven over high-heat and cook, while stirring, until most of the liquid had evaporated from the pan, about 10 minutes.

Step 13 –Add the wine to the meat mixture and cook, while stirring, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

Step 14 –Add the reserved stock, the puréed tomatoes, the milk, the bay leaves, the salt, and the pepper to the mixture and bring to a simmer.

Step 15 –Transfer the sauce to the oven, uncovered, and cook, stirring and scaping down the sides of the pot occasionally, until the liquid has almost completely reduced and the sauce is rich and thick underneath a heavy layer of fat, about 3-4 hours.

Step 16 –If after 4 hours it looks like the liquid or fat in the sauce has not yet separated and formed a thick layer, transfer it to the stovetop and finish cooking at a brisk simmer while stirring frequently.

Step 17 –Carefully skim most of the fat from the sauce, only leaving about 1 cup of fat.

Step 18 –Stir the heavy cream, the parmesan, the fish sauce, and the remaining parsley into the sauce.

Step 19 –Bring the sauce to a boil on the stovetop, stirring constantly to emulsify.

Step 20 –Season the Bolognese with the salt and the pepper.

Step 21 –Cook the pasta in a large, well-salted pot of boiling water until just barely al dente.

Step 22 –Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Step 23 –Return the pasta to the pot and add just enough of the Bolognese sauce to coat, along with some of the reserved cooking liquid.

Step 24 –Cook over high heat, tossing and stirring gently, until the sauce is thick and the pasta is coated, about 30 seconds.

Step 25 –Serve immediately.