- finely chop the vegetables (celery, onions, carrots) by hand or in a food-processor, crush the garlic and chop your fresh herbs and set everything aside
- using an immersion blender, slightly purée your canned crushed tomatoes (if too chunky) and set aside
- slice your thick-cut bacon into small slivers, rinse your chicken livers in cold water with some white wine vinegar, drain then purée your livers in a food-processor, remove the casings from the sausages and set all aside
- in a large pan at medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp of butter and start cooking the bacon until slightly browned and add the chopped anchovies and then the onions and garlic, cooking until transclucent, add 2 more tbsp butter then add the bay leaves, carrots and celery and at the end the mushrooms, until all are softened and cooked but not browned and add half of the fresh chopped herbs (about 10-15 minutes)
- in a small casserole, heat 2 cups of water (or stock) with the beef bones and marrow and boil until the marrow is soft, then remove the bones, scoop out the marrow and mash it then mix it back into the hot water with 2 bouillon cubes (if not using stock) and whisk until well incorporated and set aside (the gelatin in the marrow helps develop the texture of the sauce)
- in a large dutch-oven or cast-iron casserole, at med-high heat on the stovetop, heat the ¼ cup olive oil and start browning the ground meats (beef, pork, sausage meat) with 1 tbsp sea salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper, while stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon
- after 15 minutes and when the meats have nicely browned, add the pureed chicken livers and stir in and cook until the mix seem drier, then add the cooked vegetables and sliced bacon and fat and cook for another 5-10 minutes
- pour in the chicken-beef-marrow stock and add the parmesan rind and let simmer and reduce for 30-45 minutes at medium-high heat until drier, stirring occasionally and add 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper (or to your taste, adjust it later too)
- add the red wine and cook a few minutes until evaporated and the mixture is drier
- add 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk and mix well and let cook without stirring for 8-10 minutes and then stir and scrape the brownings with a wooden spoon and repeat 2-3 times by adding another ½ cup of evaporated milk, mixing, letting it cook without stirring again for 10 minutes, then stirring and scraping, then ½ cup again, then the last ¼ cup …
note : this is for caramelizing the meat, you let it cook without stirring just long enough that when you finally start stirring and scraping the brownings, there’s a sizzling sound and when that sound stops, then you add more of the milk, mix, wait and repeat ...
- taste and add sea salt and ground black pepper (if necessary) and the rest of the fresh chopped herbs
- preheat your oven to 150°C
- lower the stovetop to medium heat and add the tomato paste to the dutch-oven casserole and stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the slightly pureed crushed tomatoes and stir again and remove from heat
- place in the oven (without a lid) on the middle or lower rack and bake for 2 ½ - 3 hours, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides well with a wooden spoon every 25-30 minutes.
note : the meat sauce will darken and reduce and be more condensed as it slowly bakes in the oven, and a layer of fat will develop on the top, keep mixing it back in everytime you stir and scrape
- remove from oven when ready (you decide how thick and dense you prefer it), remove remaining parmesan rind and bay leaves) and either serve part of it immediately and store the rest or reserve for later
- to prepare a dish, combine 1 cup of meat sauce per serving of 125 grams (dry weight before boiling in salted water) of flat pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle or what I used which is called « trine », resembling thin long lasagna-like strands) per serving with extra grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley
note : when reheating the meat sauce which is very dense, feel free to combine 1/3-1/2 cup of canned crushed tomatoes per 1 cup of meat sauce, to loosen it up and brighten up the flavour (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t !)
- store portions in sterlized glass jars in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze in air-tight containers or freezer bags fro several months.
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