Classic Bolognese



serves 4 to 6

This Bolognese recipe is slightly different than the traditional version. With a classic Bolognese you’re supposed to use far less tomato, no tomato paste, milk over cream and simmer the sauce for hours and hours until the meat is virtually cooked into the sauce. I like this version over the traditional for a few reasons. This Bolognese is quicker, brighter from  higher acid-to-fat ratio, and seems to be tastier when reheated as leftovers. 


1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 pound ground beef or pork

2 oz pancetta or bacon, chopped 

1 small onion, roughly chopped 

1 small fennel bulb, cored, roughly chopped 

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano 

1 tablespoon tomato paste  

½ cup red wine 

3 cups canned diced tomatoes 

1 cup beef or vegetable broth 

¼ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

For serving

Shaved Parmesan

Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves

Cooked pasta or grilled country bread


1. In a food processor, pulse the onion and fennel, or finely chop with a chef’s knife.  Reserve in a bowl for use in step 4.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. When the oil is hot, begin browning the ground meat a half pound at a time. Don’t worry about crumbling it up at this point, the goal is to get some golden-brown caramelization on as much surface area of the meat as possible. Once you brown all the meat, transfer it to a bowl and reserve for step 5.

3. Sauté pancetta or bacon in the same pan until it renders some fat and begins to crisp. 

4. Add the onion and fennel, and half of the salt to the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, nutmeg, and fresh herbs. When you smell the fragrant aroma of the cooking garlic, stir in the tomato paste and the red wine. Reduce the liquid until it is almost gone.

5. Add the ground beef, diced tomatoes, and broth; bring to a low simmer. Simmer the sauce, partially covered, for one hour, stir occasionally. 

7. Finish the sauce by stirring in the heavy cream and taste for seasoning. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt if desired. 

To serve, spoon over your favorite pasta or grilled country bread, garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan and flat-leaf parsley.

This recipe is delicious with ground beef, but do yourself a favor and try it with our ground pork (bonus points for using our bacon, too!). You can only find pork this good at some farmer’s markets (if you’re lucky), and all three of our Larder boxes (if you’re really lucky):


Ranchero Style Chili

ranchero chili pic.jpg


1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight

1 large onion peeled and halved, half of the onion chopped

3 bay leaves

1 to 2 tablespoons rendered lard, bacon fat, tallow or neutral cooking oil such as canola

1 pound sirloin, tri-tip, flat-iron or flank steak, cut into large cubes (about 1 ½ inches) 

1 pound ground beef

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

8 oz tomato paste

28-oz can chopped tomatoes, with the juices

2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock

3/4 cups cider vinegar

1/4 cup masa harina corn flour

1/2 cup water

Kosher salt, to taste (optional)

For Serving

Crumbled Queso Fresco, chopped green onions, cilantro, lime wedges, and salsa


1. In a large saucepan, combine the beans, half an onion (reserve the chopped onion), and bay leaves; cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 1 ½ hours.

2. While the beans are cooking, begin the chili base: Over medium heat, heat a large heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the tablespoon of rendered fat or cooking oil and heat until the fat is shimmering. Add the beef cubes and sauté in the hot oil until browned, stirring occasionally.

After the beef is sautéed push it to one side, add the chopped onion and sauté until the onion is translucent. Remove the beef and onions with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Begin adding the ground beef to the pot a small amount at a time so as to not crowd the pot (add more fat if needed). Try to get a nice brown color on all the beef.

Push the ground beef to one side of the pot and add the garlic. As soon as you can smell the garlic, mix in the ground beef and begin breaking the beef up with the back of a wooden spoon, incorporating the garlic into the ground beef.

3. Return the chopped beef and onions to the pot and thoroughly stir in the chili, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir in the tomato paste. Stir in the canned tomatoes, stock, and cider vinegar.

Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the mixture gently while the beans cook, stirring occasionally. Check the mixture occasionally, and if it seems to be getting too dry, add a half cup of water or more stock. Allow this mixture to simmer on low for about 2 hours or until the beans are tender.

4. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the masa harina with the water. Add the masa to the chili/beef/tomato mixture and mix well to combine and thicken the chili base.

When the beans are tender, incorporate them into the chili and simmer gently for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. If your chili mixture is really thick, use some of the bean liquid to thin it out a bit. If the chili mixture is still “soupy” drain the beans prior to adding them to the chili mixture. Make sure to reserve the drained bean liquid for another use, it’s great as a soup base or a braising liquid for pork or chicken!

Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt if desired. Serve with the crumbled queso fresco, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges and salsa.

This Chili was meant for grass fed, pasture raised, California ranch sourced beef. You know, the kind of beef real life cowboys eat (not the kind that comes from feed lots and factories - and definitely not the kind grown in a lab). Get yours:

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Italian Meatballs

Italian meatball recipe


For the meatballs

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 cup of dried fine bread crumbs or Panko

2 tablespoon olive oil (divided in half, for 2 steps)

1 small fennel bulb, cored and minced

1/2 medium yellow onion, minced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Classic Marinara Sauce (see condiments section for our recipe or use your favorite store-bought)

To Garnish

Whole flat-leaf parsley and fresh oregano leaves (no stems)

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

Sauté fennel and onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat until softened and the onion is translucent. Add a few pinches of salt and the garlic. Sauté until you smell the garlic, then remove from the heat. Transfer contents of pan to a plate and chill in your refrigerator.

2. Place the first 10 ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl.

Thoroughly mix the meatball ingredients in the mixing bowl. When the sautéed onion mixture is cool, add this to the mixing bowl. Use clean hands to really incorporate all of the ingredients, do not over-mix. Sauté a small chunk of the mixture to check for seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Roll the meatball mixture into golf ball-sized rounds (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on a cookie sheet while you work. When finished, refrigerate while you work on the marinara sauce.

4. To cook the meatballs, sauté them in the remaining olive oil in batches and finish by baking them in a rimmed sheet-pan. (If you have a muffin pan, then use my preferred method: Place each ball in lightly greased wells of the muffin pan, turn the meatballs over half way through cooking to evenly brown the surface. You’ll notice that the balls will self-baste while cooking in the muffin wells). Cook the meatballs for about 30 minutes at 375° or until the internal temperature is about 140° to 150° degrees. Be careful to watch for rendered fat when you pull them out of the oven.

5. Just before serving, transfer the meatballs to the pan of marinara sauce and simmer for a few more minutes.

To serve, arrange the meatballs on a serving platter with some of the marinara. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and small handful of whole Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves.

Meatballs are like bite-sized meatloaf-balls, so now you can eat more than one serving of meatloaf and not feel like chubby Uncle Chester! Did we mention we always dry-age our beef?! That’s right, you a click away from dry-aged beef meatballs…


Lettuce Wraps


Think of this recipe as a formula for a simple, healthy and delicious appetizer or high meal. The basic formula is cooked ground beef, pork, chicken or lamb plus some sort of sauce, finished with some sort of toppings and eaten with lettuce. This recipe has an Italian-ish lean, but you can experiment with the style in countless ways. Try the formula with pork, peanut sauce and pickled veggies topped with mint or spicy lamb sausage with yogurt  cucumbers and feta. You get the picture, experiment!


1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon rendered lard, ghee, olive oil, or neutral cooking oil (used in 2 steps)

1 medium red onion, minced

1 large portobello mushroom, brushed clean, gills scraped away and discarded, minced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

1 head of radicchio (Italian chicory), separated into individual leaves

Fresh basil leaves, torn or julienned, for garnish


1. Place a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add half of the fat or oil and the beef. Brown the beef and crumble with a spoon while it cooks. After the beef is browned, remove beef from skillet with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Drain fat/oil off of beef by placing it on a paper towel-lined plate and discard what is left in the pan. 

2. Add the remaining fat or oil to the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add and lightly sauté the red onion until the onion caramelizes slightly. Scrape up any browned beef remains (these tasty bits of flavor are called “fond”) and mix into the onion.  

Stir in the minced mushroom and sauté for about a minute or until the mushroom begins to give up its liquid. 

Sir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Return the beef to the skillet and stir to combine thoroughly with the mushroom/onion mixture.  

3. Make a small well in the middle of the beef mixture and pour in the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar. Allow the vinegar/sugar to reduce slightly and thicken. Thoroughly mix together the beef and thickened balsamic. Season with red chili flakes and Kosher salt to taste.  Serve warm beef and mushroom mixture in a bowl surrounded with the radicchio leaves. Garnish with basil. Spoon the beef into the radicchio leaves to eat.


Swedish Meatballs

Recipe For Swedish Meatballs


For the Meatballs

1/4 cup whole milk

1 cup of dried breadcrumbs or Panko, unseasoned

2 to 3 tablespoons rendered lard or neutral cooking oil, such as grapeseed or canola, divided use

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 small head fennel, cored and finely chopped

3 large shallots, minced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

2 large egg yolks, beaten

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked

For the Gravy

3 cups chicken or beef broth

1 large bay leaf

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt to taste (approximately 1 teaspoon)

For Garnishing

Fresh tarragon leaves

Freshly grated nutmeg

Cranberry, Lingonberry, or Raspberry Jam


For the Meatballs

1. Preheat oven to 225°.

Combine the milk and bread crumbs in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm about 1 tablespoon of the lard or oil. Sauté carrot, fennel, and shallots until soft. Add a few pinches of salt and the garlic. Sauté until you smell the garlic, then remove from the heat, place on a small plate, cool to room temperature, and chill in your refrigerator.

2. Using your (clean) hands or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, thoroughly mix the beef, pork, bread/milk mixture, egg yolks, and spices. When the sautéed onion mixture is cool, add this to the mixing bowl and continue mixing until the ingredients are completely incorporated. Keep in mind that the more you mix, the firmer/more dense your meatballs will become.

Roll the meatball mixture into large marble sized rounds (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on a cookie sheet while you work. When finished, refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set.

3. Heat another tablespoon or two of the lard or oil in a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy bottomed frying pan and begin searing off the meatballs in batches. Fry the meatballs 5 to 8 at a time (this will make it easier to manage your heat and lightly brown each meatball without crowding your pan); fry the remaining meatballs in the same way.

After the meatballs are seared, transfer them into a baking dish (leaving fat in pan) and hold them in a warm oven while you make the gravy.

For the Gravy

1. Over low heat and in the same pan that you used to sear the meatballs, add the flour and whisk it into the remaining fat until it picks up the juices and bits left from the meatballs. Allow the flour to brown slightly, whisking frequently.

Slowly add the beef stock, whisking constantly it until it thickens.

Add the bay leaf and heavy cream to the gravy and whisk, stirring constantly, it until it reaches the desired consistency. It should take about 3 minutes for the gravy to become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. To test, dip a spoon in the gravy and drag your finger across the back of the spoon. If the gravy holds the line from your finger, it’s ready!

Taste the gravy and add salt if desired.

To serve, pour the gravy over the warmed meatballs, garnish with the tarragon leaves and nutmeg and serve with the jam on the side.



Meatloaf recipe


For the Loaf

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 small bulb of fennel, quartered, cored, and roughly chopped

1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork  

2 large eggs, well-beaten

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon red chili flakes  

1 teaspoon dried thyme 

1 cup dry bread crumbs or Panko breadcrumbs, unseasoned 

For the Glaze  

1/2 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

3 large shallots, minced 

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce

1 teaspoon cider vinegar  

3 teaspoons dry mustard 

1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar 


1. While you assemble your ingredients, preheat oven to 350° and chill a large mixing bowl in your refrigerator. 

2. Place carrot, celery, yellow onion, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until vegetables are evenly minced, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even processing.

3. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

4. Transfer the vegetables and the ground meat to a large mixing bowl.

5. Add the eggs and seasoned bread crumbs to the bowl. With clean hands, knead the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Be careful not to over-mix or your meatloaf will become dense.

6. Press the meatloaf mixture into a parchment paper lined 5-x 9 inch loaf pan or Pyrex baking dish. 

7. In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallots in the canola oil until translucent. Add the ketchup, Braggs (or soy sauce), dry mustard, and brown sugar. Simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Brush the meatloaf with three-quarters of the glaze.

8. Bake meatloaf for 45 minutes. Remove loaf from the oven and pour off any rendered fat into a heat-proof container, being careful not to let the loaf slip while tipping the fat off. Brush the remaining glaze onto the loaf and return to oven. Discard the fat after it has cooled.

9. Continue baking the loaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 150°, about 15 minutes.