Pork Ragù

Posted By Kerri


As I mentioned yesterday, one of the reasons we had pork for dinner last night is because I’ve been wanting to make a pork ragù for some time. Normally, we would decide what to do with leftovers after we had eaten the main meal so this is a bit backwards but it’s a good way to make sure everything is used up.

As well as this being a new dish, I tried a couple of different cooking methods today too. I tend to start most dishes with a base of onion, celery, carrot and garlic all chopped very finely and sweated for a long time over a gentle heat. I don’t like finding discernible lumps of onion in a dish which is why I always take so much care over this stage. I recently came across a recipe which suggested whizzing all these ingredients together in a blender to make a paste before frying so that’s what I did today. The resulting purée looked a little odd to begin with but it certainly overcame the lump issue. It made it much easier to deal with too, I just left it in the pan for about seven minutes and stirred occasionally but it needed very little attention.

As well as the puréeing of the initial ingredients, I added the tomato purée shortly after these had softened and left it to caramelise before stirring it in to the vegetables. It was difficult to tell what this added to the overall flavour so I’m not sure if I’ll do it again. I just thought I’d try something else that was new.

I feel the same way about large lumps of tomato as I do onion so today I used a jar of skinless tomatoes that I found at the deli. They broke down really well but, now I’ve thought about it some more, I should have just used ordinary tinned tomatoes and blended them before adding.

As a result of all the new methods, I didn’t really pay attention to the quantities so here’s a very loose recipe.

1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick celery
2 cloves garlic (I actually used the leftover roasted garlic from yesterday)
Bay leaf
Tablespoon tomato purée
Shredded leftover pork (I’m not sure how much of this there was, probably enough for two sandwiches)
Salt and pepper
Glass red wine
Stock (I used the leftover gravy from yesterday, with some additional boiling water)

Purée onion, carrot, celery and garlic with a little oil. Heat additional oil in a pan, add purée and sauté for about seven minutes with a little salt and the bay leaf.

Next, push the ingredients to the side of the pan, stir in the tomato purée and allow to caramelise slightly before incorporating with the purée. Add the herbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper and then the wine. Allow to bubble until the alcohol has evaporated and then add the stock and the tomatoes. I added a large splash of milk at this point too.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and then leave to simmer until the sauce has taken on your preferred consistency. As I used milk, I left this on a very low heat for two hours.

Initially, I was slightly disappointed with the outcome as it seemed as if we had ended up with just a very good tomato sauce. The flavour of the pork didn’t really come through until we had reduced the sauce right down. In the end it was very good, much like I imagine a sausage ragù might be. It needed a scrape more nutmeg though and possibly some basil at the end to heighten the flavours.

The blending of the initial ingredients is one I’ll definitely try again though, it created a real smoothness that would work with both a basic tomato sauce or a ground meat sauce.

For the very first time, I’m sharing this with Marye of Baking Delights who is hosting this week’s Presto Pasta Nights.

Apr 6th, 2009

10 Comments to 'Pork Ragù'

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  1. I love pork ragu. Actually I love anything invoving pork really. Would you perhaps lose out on a bit of texture by blending everything?

    Gourmet Chick’s last blog post..Moules mariniere

  2. Kerri said,

    Me too 🙂

    The sauce was very fine but the pork broke down into shreds which added some texture.

  3. Mrs Ergül said,

    This looks good! Even better considering the fact that this is the first time you made it with this cooking method!

    Mrs Ergül’s last blog post..Boule

  4. Ruth said,

    It’s rainy, damp and miserable here in Halifax…your pork ragu would be perfect. Thanks for joining in Presto Pasta Night fun and I hope to see you around often.

    Ruth’s last blog post..Presto Pasta Night Roundup #107

  5. marye said,

    it looks fantastic! Thanks for joining in this week.

    marye’s last blog post..You Need to Know…

  6. I love pork ragu. this one looks yummy!

    The Food Hunter’s last blog post..Getting Reservations at Babbo & How I Met Mario Batali

  7. Tim said,

    The last time I made pork ragu I really tasted the lack of that strong beefy flavour you get with a mixed ragu. Still, that picture looks mighty appetizing and has me contemplating giving it another shot!

    Tim’s last blog post..Do you struggle with the pain of defrosting?

  8. Stephen said,

    Tim, I know what you mean about the flavour; I think the stock that we used was really fully flavoured so that helped.

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