I am planning to make this Ragu Bolognese. The recipe looks so good, and I am due for a fun freezer filling project.

The thing is though, that I hate, hate, hate liver.

On the other hand, I really don't want to miss out on anything.

Part of what I hate about liver will be mitigated by pureeing, because the grainy texture really puts me off, but I also hate that chemically, metallic, toxic nastiness.

Are there any Bolognese experts out there who can reassure me? I'm told that the liver really hangs out in the background, and can't be picked out as it's own flavor. I have no problem believing that of the fish sauce that comes later, but liver? Really?

Is there any way I can get the effect of long simmering the livers in the sauce but adding them later (or at least maybe half of them later) so that I can add them to taste?

Also, does soaking them in milk make them more mild?

  • Kenji rocks. I've only had success with his recipes. I would suspect that they would blend in nicely. On the other hand..."hate, hate, hate..." is pretty strong. Given the recipe, I doubt you would miss anything by leaving them out. While there is wide variation in recipes, I never put liver in my Bolognese.
    – moscafj
    Jan 5, 2015 at 0:10
  • ...by the way, see the comments, which follow the recipe, for a lot of helpful information...
    – moscafj
    Jan 5, 2015 at 0:20
  • @moscafj The comments were helpful. I'm leaning now towards cutting the liver in half.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jan 5, 2015 at 0:30
  • @Jolenealaska : you mean using half as much, or not grinding them, so you can extract them after cooking? Because I think they'd be like the bay leafe that you can't actually find to remove before someone gets surprised by it.
    – Joe
    Jan 5, 2015 at 1:02
  • @Joe Half as much :)
    – Jolenealaska
    Jan 5, 2015 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


OMG this turned out great!

Really good.


I ended up using half of the liver called for in the recipe, otherwise I followed it to the letter. There is a richness to the sauce that I don't think it would have had if I had skipped the liver entirely, but I can't taste it. For a bit of extra protection from toxic nastiness, I did carefully clean the liver and I soaked it for two hours in milk.

The pasta is imported Italian Campanelle.

Fair warning, a 5 quart Dutch Oven is not quite big enough.

  • 2
    Looks delicious! Brava!
    – moscafj
    Jan 6, 2015 at 12:43

If the liver scares you, please take a look at this Ragù Bolognese recipe. This is the "original" (registered on 17 oct 1982 by italian kitchen academy) recipe and does not involve liver.


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