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Author Notes: On Thanksgiving day, I am not a big fan of dark meat. Howevever, I have found that I do enjoy dark meat in a variety of post-Thanksgiving dishes and am always on the look out for a new one. Last night, I decided to make a simple dark meat ragu and the result may be my favorite yet. Make sure you give yourself enough time to let the ragu slowly simmer for at least two and a half hours so the dark meat can break down into soft, flavorful strands. —gingerroot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 green pepper, seeded, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 4-5 cups dark turkey meat, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- Pinch of sugar
- 3 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
- 1 can tomato paste
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves cut into chiffonade
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onion, stirring to cook and prevent onion from sticking or burning. Cook until onion begins to soften, about two minutes.
- Add carrots, stirring occasionally. Cook until carrots begin to soften, about five minutes.
- Add garlic, celery and green pepper. Stir and cook for two minutes more. Stir in dried basil.
- Add dark turkey meat. Stir to combine.
- Add red wine and sugar.
- Add cans of diced tomato, with juice. Stir mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and turn down to low. Let ragu simmer for at least 2 1/2 hours to allow flavors to develop.
- Stir in one can of tomato paste and continue to simmer for 30 minutes more. Taste for salt and pepper, adding if necessary or desired. Add fresh basil and give ragu a stir. Serve with pasta, leftover mashed potatoes or other starch of choice; sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
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