Ragu Bolognese

You can watch this recipe being made by clicking on the video at the bottom

Makes 8 x 175-200g bags for the freezer

This recipe is adapted from Delia's Complete How to Cook

Ragu Bolognese
 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
 200g sliced smoked pancetta
 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
 450g minced British beef
 450g minced British pork
 2 x 400g tins Italian chopped tomatoes
 6 tablespoons sundried tomato paste
 175ml red wine
 freshly grated nutmeg
 4 rounded tablespoons, chopped basil
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
  Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).
Equipment: You will also need a large frying pan and a flameproof casserole with a capacity of 3L


First of all take a large frying pan and heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over a medium heat and gently fry the onion for about 10 minutes, moving it around from time to time.

While the onion is softening, chop the pancetta: the best way to do this after opening the pack is to roll the contents into a sausage shape, then using a sharp knife, slice it lengthways into 4, then slice the lengths across as finely as possible.

After 10 minutes, add this to the pan to join the onion, add the garlic and continue cooking the whole lot for about 5 minutes.

Now transfer this mixture to the casserole.

Then add ¾ tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan, turn up the heat to it highest then add the half of the minced beef and brown it, breaking it up and moving it round in the pan. Either with a wooden fork or a balloon whisk is really helpful here.

When the beef is browned, tip it into the casserole to join the onions, then heat another ¾ tablespoon of olive oil and do exactly the same with the remaining minced beef followed by the minced pork, again in two batches. Transferring the browned meat to the casserole as you go.

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1.

Next place the casserole over the direct heat and give everything a really good stir, then add the tomatoes, sundried tomato paste, red wine and a really good seasoning of salt, pepper and a good grating of nutmeg and finally two rounded tablespoons of chopped basil.

More stirring now, then allow this to come up to simmering point.

Then cover with a tight fitting lid and place the casserole in the centre of the oven and leave it to cook for 3 hours, removing the lid halfway through. What you should end up with is a thick, reduced concentrated sauce with only a trace of liquid left in it, taste to check the seasoning then stir in the remaining basil.

When it’s completely cold divide it evenly into eight small polythene freezer bags.

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