When I’m cooking up a storm I love nothing better than cooking up a reasonable amount whilst I’m at it. Why? Aside from enjoying a good hearty portion, it’s great to be able to get one or more hits out of a dish again, either reheated in a “cook once, eat twice” fashion, or reimagined as per the dish for today’s blog post.
So today I’m going to share with you my recipe for pork ragù using leftover roast pork. I served it up with my homemade egg pasta fettuccine, but I’ll save the recipe for that for another day (and believe me, it’s seriously easy to do).
Right – first up, gather together your ingredients. I like to have everything all together before I begin any active cooking. For this one you’re going to need:
- 1 medium sized onion. Can be white or red onion, whatever you have available.
- 1 carrot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- About 300-400g of leftover roast pork (it’s not too important if it’s a little under or over that weight). I had some pork collar butt roast last time I made this, left over from a Sunday roast
- 3-4 large slices of prosciutto or bacon (or other salty, cured pork product of that ilk)
- 1 large flat field mushroom
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 1 chicken stock cube + the kettle on the boil with about a couple of cups worth of water in it
- 1 cup of red wine (I used a Shiraz on this occasion as that’s what I had to hand. A nice full-bodied drop is good in a ragù I reckon)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 big pinches of fennel seeds
- 2 big fat pinches of salt
- A few decent cracks of black pepper
- Olive oil
OK, got all that together? Ready? Here we go…
Step 1 – Dice your meat
I like to get everything chopped, prepped and ready to go before I turn any heat on. So in that vein, get your leftover pork diced up, not too fine, kind of 2cm chunks should do it.
Slice up your prosciutto or bacon in 2-3cm slices. And dice up your mushroom into something similar, size wise. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms or you don’t have any to hand you can leave them out if you fancy.
Time: 5 mins
Step 2 – Dice up the veg
Now get your onion, carrot and garlic. These three ingredients together will come to form something called the sofrito – the fragrant foundation for your ragù.
If you’ve got a food processor I highly recommend using it for this bit. If not, it’s time to get chopping! The reason I recommend a food processor is it saves time, no other reason.
Dice up your onion, carrot (skin on or off, your choice), and garlic cloves very finely.
Time: 1 – 10 mins depending on whether using a food processor
Step 3 – Get heating up
Grab a large casserole pan, and put it over a medium heat. Once it starts to heat up add a decent slug of olive oil, probably around 2-3 tablespoons worth and get that heating up.
When the pan is ready add your onion, carrot and garlic and gently cook that for about 10 minutes or so, perhaps turning the heat down a little. The veggies should start to soften up nicely and release a lovely aroma.
Time: About 12 mins
Step 4 – Add your meat
Get the pork and the prosciutto or bacon into the pan with the sofrito. Give it a good stir around, get the meat coated with the veggies and keep stirring frequently for the next 10 minutes. We’re looking to get just a little browning happening on the meat (along with the sofrito this is where another delicious layer of flavour gets created), but not too much, and some of the fat in the two meats breaking down and adding more flavour.
Time: 10 mins
Step 5 – Add in your liquids and seasoning
Next up bosh into the pan the red wine, the tin of tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add some hot water from the kettle to the tin of tomatoes and add into the mix (this saves on grabbing another utensil from the cupboard and helps wash any tomato sticking to the sides of the tin into the pan – be careful not to burn your fingers on the tin though if the water is very hot or just boiled!).
Add in the fennel seeds, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Give a good stir in.
Turn the heat up and bring to the boil.
Time: 5 mins
Step 6 – Let it simmer away and the magic happen
Once it has come to the boil, turn the heat waaaaaay down, cover the pan over and and let it simmer away for about an hour.
Keep a check on it from time to time.
Time: 1 hour
Step 7 – Check it out, take the lid off and let it thicken up
You may need to let the ragù thicken up a little more at this stage (which is really down to your personal preference). If there’s still a bit of liquid on the go in there, take the lid off, turn the heat up a little and let it simmer for 5 – 10 minutes more without the lid to thicken up.
Time: 5 – 10 mins
Step 8 – Eat it!!
You can eat it straight up if you feel so inclined! But more traditionally serve up with your favourite pasta, or perhaps try with some polenta (and I reckon it might even go pretty well with some creamy mashed potato).
Time: 10 seconds flat!
And if you can’t eat it all it’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days, or the freezer for a few months.