Every time I eat this, I love it so much, I savage and mess most of it on my white shirt… sheets… cheeks.
2 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 kg beef mince
2 tbs butter
1 cup red wine
1 cup milk
2 cups beef stock
2 cans whole, peeled tomatoes
5 fresh bay leaves
salt & pepper
Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until butter starts to sizzle, then reduce heat to medium. Add pancetta/bacon, and cook until golden and fat has rendered, about 2 1/2 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery, garlic and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown around edges, about 10 minutes (adjust heat if mixture is browning too quickly).
Add beef mince and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and separating meat with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Once meat is completely browned, add tomato cans and cook 1 minute, stirring to intensify sweetness.
Pour in wine and cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from bottom of pot, until liquid has evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes. Add 1 cup milk and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes (don’t worry if it appears slightly curdled, it will smooth out again). Add herbs and bay leaves, and then pour in 2 cups of beef stock.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook, partially covered, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, skimming the fat from the surface with a ladle periodically (of you have energy.).
If at any time the sauce appears too dry, add up to 1 cup more stock as necessary. The finished sauce should have the consistency of a loose chili. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.