Bolognese Meat Sauce

Poppy selected this from a collection of spaghetti sauces in Chris Kimball’s The Cook’s Bible.  Kimball credits its origin to cookbook author, Julia della Croce’s Pasta Classica.  Poppy, of course, may his own mid-course corrections.  Still, he favors this over the ragouts he experimented with earlier this year.

2 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 rib celery, diced1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
pound ground beef
 pound ground pork*
cup white wine
Salt to taste
 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
teaspoon dried marjoram
Dash nutmeg
Dash mace
1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
cup heavy cream, optional**

Heat the bacon in a large skillet or pot and remove when cooked; reserve bacon for another use. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat.  Add the butter and oil and increase the heat to medium-high. When foam subsides, add the onion and celery and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 8 minutes, until onion is very soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
Reduce the heat to low and add the beef and pork, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
*Poppy used some leftover pork roast we had on hand, chopped very finely, but obviously did not need the browning step.
After 3 to 4 minutes-- the meat should still be pink inside-- add the wine and salt to taste  Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the milk, sugar, marjoram, nutmeg, and mace. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and simmer for 1 hours. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste and optional heavy cream just before serving.
**Poppy omitted the heavy cream.

This recipe has been kitchen tested.

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