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Meaty Bacon Ragú

by Desiree Currie, Wooden Spoon Studio


Patience and a fatty hunk of bacon ends are the key ingredients in this special meat ragú. By building the sauce layer by layer, our own farm-raised beef, pork and bacon ends develop a deeply rich flavor backed by minced vegetables, wine and tomatoes. The result is a savory ragú with a slight hint of smoke—perfect for pasta, pizza, crusty bread and runny fried eggs


1 lb Crescent Ridge ground beef
1/2 lb Crescent Ridge ground pork
1/2 lb Crescent Ridge smoked bacon ends*, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion (about 8 oz), finely minced
1 small yellow onion (about 8 oz), finely minced
3 medium celery ribs (about 4 oz), finely minced
2 medium carrots (about 4 oz), finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Kosher salt, separated
coarsely ground black pepper


1. Place the bacon ends into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Crank the heat to medium and allow the bacon to cook for 6-10 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered. The bacon should be on the verge of chewy and crisp as it sizzles in about 4-5 tbsp of its own fat.

2. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and pale gold, about 10 minutes. Taste to ensure that the “raw” onion flavor has cooked off completely

3. Add the celery, carrots, garlic and 1/2 tsp of the salt to the pot. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until all of the vegetables are softened and pale gold in color. Drop in the tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will be deeply fragrant

4. Add the ground beef and pork to the pot. Season with the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of the salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss and mash the meat mixture with a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.

5. Pour in the white wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has cooked off, about 30 minutes.

6. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and water. Crank the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 1 1/2 hours at a lazy, gentle simmer. Stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the pot. The sauce is ready when you see little pools of grease bubbling at the surface.

7. Refrigerate leftover sauce in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days, or freeze for as long as you can resist eating it!

*Look for bacon ends with equal parts fat and lean meat. If your ends are on the leaner side, supplement the fat with a bit of olive oil for sautéing the vegetables.


bacon ends: cut into scant 1/2-inch batons. Pop into the freezer for 15 minutes, then pulse in the food processor until the pieces are slightly larger than 1/8 inch all around.

onion, celery & carrot: working one vegetable at a time, cut into 1/2-inch chunks. Pulse in the food processor until the pieces are about 1/8 inch all around.

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