1ouncedried porcini,reconstituted in 1 cup hot water and chopped
1 six-ouncecan tomato paste
1cupvenison stock,beef broth or water
1/2nutmeg,grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pasta(tagliatelle, penne, etc)
Grated cheese for garnish
Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large, heavy pot like a Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook gently for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not brown them. Sprinkle a little salt over the veggies as they cook.
When the vegetables are soft, stir in the chopped porcini and tomato paste and allow everything to cook for 3 or 4 minutes, again, stirring often. When the tomato paste begins to turn the color of brick, add the ground venison, the porcini soaking water and the broth. Bring to a simmer.
Allow this to cook down over medium-low heat. Take your time here and resist the urge to do this over higher heat. Stir from time to time. When the liquid has mostly evaporated, add the wine and repeat the process. When that has mostly evaporated, add the milk, nutmeg and black pepper and stir well. Bring back to a simmer and add salt to taste. Let this cook until it is the consistency you want.
When you add the milk to the sauce, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to make it taste like the sea. Once the ragu has thickened, add the pasta to the salty water and cook until its al dente.
To serve, put the pasta in a large bowl and add a healthy ladle of sauce. Toss to combine. Give everyone their portion, then top with a small ladle's worth of sauce. Grate the cheese over the top and serve.
If you want to pressure can this, you'll have to leave the milk out until you want to eat the sauce. But you can pressure can this at 10 PSI for up to 1000 feet of elevation for 1 hour. Follow your canner's directions.
Keys to Success
Time. A real deal ragu takes time to make. You can rush things, but you will notice the difference.
I make my own venison stock for this recipe, but you could use store bought, low-sodium beef broth.
Use a food processor to finely mince the carrot, onion and celery. Way easier than by hand.
If you can't find the porcini, skip it or use other dried mushrooms. I will often just use porcini powder.