Recipe: The Braised Blue Bolognese

There is something about making a great meat sauce that many restaurants just cannot hope to do on their timeline. A great bolognese sauce falls more into the realm of the skilled yet patient home cook. To make this sauce it takes time, it takes restraint and it really takes a more skilled hand than you think it would. This recipe goes to my cousins Julie Gibb and Christian Morrison of Panty Press who made a hell of a bolognese last time I saw them.  Thank you for your support with Braised Blue: Year One.


3/4 lb Medium Ground Beef

3/4 lb Ground Veal

2 Italian sausages (casings removed/shredded)

1/4 lb pancetta diced

1 Stock Celery (diced)

1 large carrot (diced)

1 large onion (diced)

1 can tomato paste

1 Cup Dry Red Wine

150 ML Whole Milk

500 Ml Beef Stock

2 Packets Gelatin.

1 Clove Garlic (finely chopped)

1 tbs fresh thyme



Pappardelle or Tagliatelle


Directions: In a large dutch oven on medium/high heat place your ground beef and veal. The browning process should take about 15 minutes overall. These meats have a lot of water which needs time to evaporate during the browning process. With that time the meat will also caramelize nicely and evenly. You then add your finely diced pancetta which will add some nice fat to the meat give that about five minutes to render down. Then add your garlic, onion, carrot and celery. These will take about 10 minutes to cook down and integrate with the sauce. Then adding your tomato paste is next* you want to stir this in well and after a few minutes your sauce will have turned a rich rusty colour. Then add your thyme. You want to simmer all of your meat together for as long as you down burn the meat or cook it unevenly. You then deglaze with your red wine, allowing about 5 minutes of cooking to burn off the alcohol. Then your milk. Then in a mixing bowl mix your beef stock with two packets of gelatine. Then add the gelatine to the sauce. This will give the sauce a richer texture. Once all those components are together in a oven preheated to 250 degrees cover and place the dutch oven into the oven and cook for 3 hours.  Some people think the soup has to simmer on heat but I feel that the even heat of cooking in a dutch oven adds to the texture of the sauce and allows for much less attentiveness.

You also want to make a thicker gauge pasta to go with this sauce. I like Papperdelle or Tagliatelle to go with the sauce. When cooking you pasta make sure to liberally salt the water and to reserve 3/4ths of a cup of the pasta water. You also want to toss your pasta in the sauce with that pasta water you reserved. This will make the pasta and the sauce really integrate more perfectly together.

*Tomato paste is very high in glutamates. These chemicals are what give you Umami the fifth flavour. A deep savoury flavour which is awesome…just trust me.