I love a good ragu. It’s a great way to use the meat from the shoulder and neck, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.
I often make it when we are out hunting, for the one reason, i can make it all in advance. That way i can make a quick lunch, and go hunting afterwards.
As with all ragu with game, i serve it with homemade pappardelle, a generous grating of parmesan and a nice glass of red wine.
First you need to make, what the Italians call a sofritto. Cut you vegestables into 1 cm dices and the pancetta, like wise.
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large casserole, and brown the meat. It’s important to do this in one layer, so you can get a nice colour on the meat. The colour on the meat, will create lots flavour to you ragu, so brown the meat in batches if you need to.
Take all the meat out of the pan. Add an other 3 tbsp olive oil and add the sofritto and the pancetta. When the onions are soft and translucent, add garlic, chili, rosemary, juniper berries and bayleaves. Return the meat to the pan, followed by the red wine. Let the wine reduce with 2/3 and add the tomato passata. Leave the ragu to simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, with the lid slightly askew. Ad water, if the ragu becomes to dry.
Check the seasoning, and adjust with salt and pepper as you need.
800g venison meat, cut into 3 cm dices
1 red onion
1 celery stick
a thick slice panchetta
2 garlic cloves
1 dried chili
1 sprig rosmary
5 juniper berries
1/2 bottle of red wine
salt and pepper