Bolognese to me is one of the best things you can make out of fresh tomatoes. It´s that little bit of chicken liver that makes this sauce special, just enough to catalyze the other flavors without making it all taste like giblets. As of the duck, I like to use aiguilettes de canard, stripes of meat adjacent to the breast, as they are very easy to handle: Just chop finely with a sharp knife. Duck thighs work fine with this recipe, too, but it´s a little more work to get the meat off the bones first. —Sabine
duck meat (aiguilettes de canard or 1 duck thigh)
finely chopped shallots
finely chopped garlic cloves
fresh thyme, rosemary and/or oregano
approx. of red wine (1 small glass)
chopped chicken liver
a few tbsp olive oil
butter + a pinch of flour to drench the liver
fine salt/fleur de sel + freshly ground pepper to taste
- Remove strunk from the tomatoes and incise skin crosswise. Place them in a large bowl and pour very hot water on them. Wait until the skin loosens (about 15 minutes), then peel tomatoes, drain well and set aside.
- Peel and chop shallots and garlic.
- Chop the duck meat with a large, very sharp knife. You should obtain very small bits, like a coarse “crumble”.
- In a cast iron cocotte, heat a few tbsp of olive oil. Fry shallots until translucent, 1-2 minutes, add the two meats and continue frying at high heat until well browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue frying for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add red wine and reduce until all liquid is gone, vigorously scraping the bottom of your cocotte. Add herbs and tomatoes, crushing them with a fork or spoon. Reduce heat to low, close lid and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, chop chicken liver as finely as possible.
- Heat butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add liver, drench with about ½ tbsp flour and brown for 3-4 minutes.
- Add to the cocotte, stir and allow to simmer for at least a further 10 minutes.
- Remove herbs and bay leaf and serve with pasta and grated cheese