Here’s a classic bolognese with a twist…celeriac! The carrots are traditional and while some people include celery, I started with a celeriac mire poix as the base of this rich and satisfying dish. One of the things I love about celeriac is that it is very versatile – roast big chunks, grate raw for a salad, or chop into a fine dice and use jsut as you would celery. The local grass-fed ground beef comes to us courtesy of Good Life Farm’s CSA+, order a share or a la carte item this spring!
Bolognese is a great thing to make on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon – double or even triple the batch. You’ll have some to freeze and more than one meal for the coming week. Here the sauce is served over pasta, but it’s also great with polenta, and topped with freshly grated parmesan. You can add more herbs (like dried oregano or thyme), and I’ve skipped the basil when I only have parsley on hand. After a few times making this, you’ll come up with a twist of your own. We also have a satisfying vegan version of this dish, here.
This recipe is straightforward, and starts with browning the beef and draining the fat. A generous pour of olive oil adds a lot of flavor to the sauce, as does the wine. I always reduce the wine, this builds the flavor in layers. Not pictured is the addition of milk – which sounds strange, but mellows the acidity of the tomatoes perfectly. This sauce can simmer for 30 minutes or 2 hours, your house will smell amazing!
Bolognese with Carrots & Celeriac
1lb grass-fed beef
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celeriac, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup milk
1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes
handful of parsley, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large dutch oven, brown ground beef or medium high heat. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and drain the fat from the pan. (leave a bit in if you like). Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the olive oil to the pan. Sauté the carrots, celeriac, onions, and garlic with a basil leaf and a few parsley leaves until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the wine, and stir to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook stirring occasionally, until wine is reduced by half. Return the beef to the pan with the tomatoes, tomato paste, and milk. Simmer 30 minutes – 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm over pasta or polenta.