According to L'Accademia Italiana della Cucina in Italy, this is the correct way to make the ragu. This recipe is adapted from "The Splendid Table," by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Ask your butcher to grind the skirt steak, or use a food processor to grind your own by cutting into smaller pieces and pulsing to a medium grind. — Geoff Dougherty, originally published in The Chicago Tribune.
- 10 Ounces salt pork, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 1/4 Pound skirt steak, coarsely ground
- 1/2 Cup dry Italian white wine, preferably trebbiano or albana
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 Cup plus 2 tablespoons beef broth or homemade stock
- 1 Cup whole milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 Cup whipping cream
Step 1: Heat 1 quart water in a Dutch oven to a boil over medium-high heat; add 10 ounces chopped salt pork. Cook 3 minutes. Drain and dry pot.
Step 2: Return the salt pork to the dry Dutch oven; cook over medium heat until almost all of the fat is rendered, about 8 minutes.
Step 3: Stir in the 2 ribs diced celery, 1 diced carrot and 1 diced onion; decrease heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Step 4: Increase the heat to medium; stir in the beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in tomato paste and broth.
Step 5: Decrease heat to low. Cook, stirring in 2 tablespoons of the milk every 15 minutes, until the mixture is reduced and only slightly moist, about 2 hours. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Step 6: Meanwhile, heat cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced by a third, about 4 minutes. Set aside. Stir into meat mixture just before serving with fresh tagliatelle.