Sunday Ragù (Braciole)
- For tomato sauce:
- 5 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice (preferably Italian)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California
- For beef braciole:
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano (2 ounces)
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds beef top round, cut across the grain into 1/4-inch slices
- For meatballs and other meats:
- Reserved meat mixture and frying oil from polpette
- 1/2 cup olive oil for frying, divided
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage links
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage links
- 1 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 pounds country-style pork ribs
Preparation time 105mins
Cooking time 240mins
Make tomato sauce:
Pulse tomatoes with juice (1 can at a time) in a blender until almost smooth.
Heat oil in a wide 10-to 12-quarts heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onion until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
Add tomato purée, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 40 to 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Make braciole while sauce simmers:
Stir together garlic, parsley, cheese, and pancetta.
Pound top round to 1/8 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap with a rolling pin or meat pounder. Spoon parsley mixture evenly over beef cutlets (about 3 tablespoons each). Starting with a short side, roll up cutlets and tie at each end with string to make braciole.
Form reserved meatball mixture into balls (about 16), using a 1/4-cup measure.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Season braciole with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total) and brown well in 2 batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large shallow pan.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and brown sausage in 2 batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to pan with braciole.
Pat pork shoulder dry and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and brown pork shoulder all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to pan.
Pat pork ribs dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and brown ribs well in 2 batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to pan.
Heat reserved oil from polpette in skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry meatballs in 2 batches (do not crowd), turning occasionally, until well browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. (Discard oil.)
Return sauce to a simmer and carefully add all meats and juices. Simmer, partially covered, gently stirring occasionally (do not break up meatballs), until all meats are tender, about 2 1/4 hours.
Transfer meats with tongs to a large platter. Serve with fettuccine and remaining sauce.