Recipe for Tuscan Meat Ragù
1/3 lb. bulk spicy Italian sausage
1/3 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. lean ground beef (80% lean or greater.)
1 14.5-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
½ large red onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ cup dry red wine
Liquid from reconstituted porcini mushrooms
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Tip: Reconstitute the dried Porcini mushrooms according to package directions. However, for even more flavor, reconstitute the mushrooms in beef broth. Be sure to strain the liquid with a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any sediment before adding to the sauce.
1. Heat olive oil in a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and nicely caramelized, approximately 8-10 minutes.
2. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms and sausage and cook until sausage is no longer pink inside. Stir frequently while breaking the sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. When finished, carefully drain and discard any excess fat from the pot if necessary.
4. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon. Once the wine is reduced by half, add the tomatoes and the liquid from the reconstituted mushrooms.
Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
5. Reduce heat to just below medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 45-50 minutes. If sauce becomes too dry, add a little water while it cooks.
6. Remove from heat and serve immediately on top of a bed of warm, creamy polenta. Or, you can spoon on top of grilled polenta wedges for a tasty appetizer.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 75 min–90 minutes
Caramelizing the combination of red onions, carrots, and celery adds a rich, sweet note to the hint of heat from the spicy sausage and the earthy goodness of the Porcini mushrooms. The trio of aromatics create the flavor-packed foundation for this dish.
The end result is a well-balanced symphony of flavors that does not rely on additional herbs and spices.
Enjoy this spicy Tuscan Meat Ragù on your favorite dishes that call for a meat sauce!
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