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This is from the 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking. It's my favorite.

The introduction says, "With beef as the main ingredient and surprisingly little tomato, the many subtle tastes in this famous sauce come together beautifully."


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large carrot, peeled and minced

2 small celery stalks, minced

1/2 medium onion, minced

1 1/4 pounds ground beef

3/4 cup chicken or beef stock

2/3 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 cups whole milk


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and saute the carrots, celery, and onion and saute until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef and brown.

Stir in the chicken/beef stock, wine, and tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, partially covered, until the sauce is the consistency of a thick soup, about 2 hours. From time to time, as the sauce simmers, add 2 tablespoons of milk at a time.

Let cool, over, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Skim fat off the top before reheating.