Ragu di Fegato di Pollo (Ragu Enriched with Chicken Livers)
(MAKES 4 CUPS)
Adapted from Saveur Magazine (Issue 110, February 2008) (link to original recipe)
Be as skeptical as you want- this recipe will blow you away!
4 cups beef broth
2 tbsp. Homemade Tomato Paste
1 cup milk
3 whole cloves
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 (2-oz.) piece pancetta, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb. ground Chapel Hill Farm Randall Lineback - MUST be properly thawed, see under INFO, at top of page
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1⁄8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 chicken livers (about 2 oz.)
1) In a small saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over medium heat. Put tomato paste into a small bowl and pour in 1 cup broth; stir to dissolve. Set tomato-infused broth aside. (Keep remaining broth hot.)
2) In another saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. Add cloves, remove from heat, and let steep, covered, for 1 hour. Remove cloves; set milk aside.
3) Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add pancetta; cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 30-35 minutes.
4) Stir in ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5) Increase heat to medium-high, add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until wine is evaporated, about 6 minutes.
6) Lower heat to medium, stir in nutmeg and reserved tomato-infused broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
7) Lower heat to medium-low, add 1⁄2 cup reserved hot broth, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until all the broth has been used (this should take about 1 1⁄2 hours).
8) Add chicken livers to sauce; cook for 8 minutes. Using a fork, remove and mash livers with a tablespoon or two of the milk. Return livers to sauce along with remaining milk; simmer until thick and velvety, 15-20 minutes.
9) Season with salt and pepper. Toss with tortellini or the pasta of your choice, or use in lasagna. Serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano.