When it comes to meat sauces, ragù Bolognese is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To arrive at this version, I started with Barbara Lynch's great recipe, adding a few tweaks here and there to enhance meatiness and texture (hello pancetta, gelatin, and fish sauce!), and employing a unique oven-based cooking technique that develops rich browned flavors all while maintaining the tender, silky texture that the best sauces have. This is the kind of sauce that will leave you and your loved ones weak in the knees.
Condiments And Sauces
This rice vinegar from Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla's new cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, can be made from sake, or you can go whole-DIY-hog and make your own fermented rice beverage using rice koji (the recipe for which is also found in the book).
This red wine vinegar from Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla's new cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, could also be made with white or fortified wine.
This potent, lively compound butter from Gabrielle Hamilton's cookbook, Prune, dresses up her cheeseburger, but would be delicious in myriad applications, from dolloped on a piece of grilled swordfish to rubbed under the skin of a chicken before roasting.
The smoky flavor of a grill-roasted or barbecued turkey needs a sauce that can stand up to extra flavor. This spicy jalapeño-cranberry sauce, with a hint of lime and a splash of smoky mezcal, is the condiment for the job.
A basic gravy gets a mellow mustard bite that goes incredibly well with roast or smoked turkey.
White chicken stock, in which neither the chicken nor the aromatics are roasted first, may be the most versatile of all stocks. It's also incredibly easy to make, leading to a deeply flavorful stock, with a method and ingredients that are as easy and accessible as possible. Requiring such a minimal investment of time and effort, this stock will upgrade any dish or sauce you make compared to the store-bought variety.
There are times when you can stand over the stove all day, slowly cooking that red sauce down. Then there are times when you need to put dinner on the table in under an hour. For those moments when convenience trumps patience, this is the red sauce to turn to. Simmered with plenty of garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and basil, this sauce can be whipped up in no time but still has that deep, rich, long-cooked flavor.
This rich and hearty red sauce tastes like it's been cooked for hours, because it has. The secret to rich, naturally sweet, complex flavors is to cook the sauce in the oven, allowing the surface to brown while the sauce slowly concentrates. The resultant sauce is great on pasta, with meatballs, on your chicken parm, or scooped right out of the pan with a spoon on its own.
Assertively seasoned with garlic, oregano, pepper, and enough salt to form a crust, pernil—a Puerto Rican mainstay—lingers in the slow cooker for 18 hours until browned and fork-tender. It's served with vinegar-based pique criollo, a hot sauce made with peppers, garlic, pineapple and herbs.
If you're anything like me, when you first taste nam phrig noom, the smoky, garlicky, roasted chili dip from Northern Thailand, it's gonna blow your mind. Made with roasted green chilies, shallots, and garlic, it's served as a side dish alongside all sorts of raw and cooked vegetables, boiled eggs, or—my favorite—crispy pork rinds.
This recipe yields a very chunky, rustic jam that relies entirely on the fruit's natural pectin, in concert with sugar, lemon juice, and heat, to set perfectly. This jam works well with Blenheim apricots, or any other small, freestone apricot (apricots that have pits that pop out easily, rather than clinging to the flesh).
In this dressing, from Terry Hope Romero's Salad Samurai, the chipotle's heat is kept in check by sweet orange juice and agave nectar, and lime juice and cumin add spunk. The chia seeds give it body (without making it slimy, don't worry). It works brilliantly with the luscious grilled fruit in the Fiery Fruit and Quinoa Salad.
Roasted fennel bulb, raw fennel fronds, toasted almonds, olive oil, and garlic are the starts of this flavorful pesto variation. It's good on...well, just about everything.
The key to this amazingly rich-yet-fresh sauce made from perfect summertime tomatoes is that it's a blend of three different sauces: homemade oven-baked tomato paste is deeply sweet and rich; a classic tomato sauce provides bulk and flavor; and finally a splash of barely-cooked tomato purée guarantees the bright, fresh, fruity taste of vine-ripened tomatoes. Served on pasta, it's so flavorful you won't even need cheese on top.
For this recipe from Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, chef Jody Williams was inspired by Thomas Keller's well-loved salmon rillettes, which she learned to make during her time under him at his by-gone West Village restaurant, Rakel. With fresh and smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and horseradish, it's a rich, creamy, punchy dish that disappears quick.
This savory jam is loaded with onions and tomatoes that have been cooked in bacon fat until thick and spreadable. A touch of maple syrup, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard gives it a sweet-tart edge that would be as good on a burger as it would served alongside a wedge of cheese.
An intensely flavored topping for rice or ramen bowls made of slow-cooked eggplant seasoned with sea kelp, smoked bonito, and soy sauce.
Chicken liver mousse always make me think of the sexy, cozy wine bar where I once worked in the West Village. I watched their mousse regularly provoke consummate liver-haters to clean the bowl with their fingers. Chicken liver mousse can do that; it's got everything going for it. It's creamy, fatty, savory, and pureed beyond recognition of anything anatomical. Tom Mylan's version, from The Meat Hook Meat Book, is sure to twist some arms: a little funky, a little boozy, and rich enough to be dessert.
Mint, pistachios, and feta make a deeply flavorful, rich variation on a classic pesto. It's delicious tossed with pasta, drizzled on fresh vegetables like sliced tomatoes, or served as a sauce for meats like chicken, pork, or lamb.