Beef Bolognese Sauce
by Eric Leyden, Chef, The Nebraska Club, Lincoln, Nebraska
Makes approximately ½ gallon; serves 8 to 10
- 2 to 3 pounds Certified Piedmontese brisket, cut into 2-inch cubes
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 4 ribs celery, diced small
- 2 small carrots, diced small
- 1½ tablespoons garlic puree
- 1 to 2 dried sweet guajillo chile peppers, ground with a pestle and mortar, spice grinder, or knife
- 8 ounces tomato paste
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 cups brewed coffee
- 6 cups beef broth
- 3 (28-ounce) cans diced or stewed tomatoes
- 3 (10-ounce) cans tomato puree
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pounds thick-walled rigatoni or penne pasta, cooked
Pat beef dry, then generously season with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, sear beef cubes on all sides. Remove from pan.
Turn heat down to medium and lightly sauté vegetables in oil until just becoming slightly tender, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Add garlic and pulverized chile and stir 15 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, then add the braised brisket back to the pot.
Increase heat and bring sauce to a gentle boil and stir. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 3 to 4 hours, or until meat is tender enough to shred with a fork, stirring frequently. Alternatively: Cover and transfer to a 375°F oven for 3 to 4 hours, until meat is tender.
Let rest for 30 minutes off of the heat.
Shred brisket with two forks, return to sauce and simmer another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with sugar and salt as needed.
Serve immediately with pasta and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Once cooled, sauce can be reheated as needed.
Note: To adjust the sauce before serving, either thicken with a touch of tomato paste and simmer 15 minutes on low heat, or thin the sauce with additional coffee or broth.