A meaty Bolognese needs a chance to reduce just a little as it cooks to concentrate flavors, and the Dutch oven allows for that, even with the lid on. This method also lets layers of flavors come through, as bacon, ground meat, and veggies are all browned in the same pot, then deglazed with cooking liquid.
3 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
8 ounces 90% lean ground beef
4 ounces ground bison or lean ground pork
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Place bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; sauté 5 minutes or until bacon begins to crisp. Add beef and bison to pan; cook 6 minutes or until partly browned, stirring to crumble. Remove mixture from pan. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add tomato paste; sauté 1 minute. Add stock and wine; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return beef mixture to pan; stir in tomatoes, pepper, and salt.
Cover; reduce heat to low, and cook 1 hour, stirring 3 times to prevent sticking.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Serve pasta with Bolognese sauce; garnish with parsley.
Slow Cooker: Using a large skillet, follow instructions through step Place mixture in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Proceed with step
Pressure Cooker: Using a 6- or 7-quart pressure cooker, follow instructions through step Close lid securely, and bring to high pressure over high heat (about 4 minutes). Adjust heat to medium-high or level needed to maintain high pressure, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Place the cooker under cold running water to release pressure. Remove the lid, and proceed with step 3 of the recipe.
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