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