In a large heavy based saucepan heat a splash of olive oil. Add the meat, 2 bay leaves and maple syrup. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until it starts to caramelise.
In another saucepan sweat onions in a little olive oil on low heat for 10 minutes. Grind garlic, sugar and salt in a mortar and pestle until a paste and add to the onion mixture and cook for a further minute.
Add onion and garlic to the meat mixture with stock, extra bay leaf, finely chopped chilli, balsamic vinegar and red wine. Simmer on low for 20 minutes.
Add tomato passata, tomato paste and cook for an hour. Add fresh herbs in the last half hour or so.