Ok, I realise winter is over and the need for ‘comfort food’ is on the decline but just hear me out. A month into spring and we have only seen a handful of ‘spring’ days and with more rain and coolish weather forecast for the weekend (at least on my side of the world) winter has over stayed its welcome. So what can you do to overcome the extended winter blues? Pick up your phone, call your friends, invite them over this weekend, bring out the red wine and then head to the shops and pick up the ingredients below. The most fantastic thing about this recipe is the fact that all the hard work (I use the term hard work very loosely here) will be done before your friends even arrive, all that will be left to do is cook some pasta, plate it up and enjoy a nice glass of red wine with your friends. This dish really is the definition of comfort food, its warming, hearty, smells amazing, tastes even better and will make even the coldest evenings enjoyable… Plus it gives you an excuse to enjoy a red wine or two (any excuse will do right 😉 ).
This dish will easily serve 6 people with a good amount of ragu each, if there’s more people, cook more pasta and there will still be plenty of ragu to go around. What to do if your friends have already made plans? Dinner for two or a nice family dinner is in order. There will be lots of left overs to go around but this ragu will make an awesome lasagne so don’t waste it! 🙂 I’d recommend serving this with a nice leafy salad just to help cut through some of the richness. Allow 4 hours for the ragu to cook and develop its amazing array of flavours. Just remember we spend a lot of time eating and it should be an enjoyable experience.
Pork Ragu with Pappardelle
What you’ll need:
- Splash of olive oil
- 1.5kg Pork Shoulder
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, roughly chopped (because you are slow cooking you don’t want the onions to small)
- 1 cup of red wine (make sure its drinkable… yes that means taste it!)
- 2 tins of whole tomato (400g tins)
- 4 large tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
- a good handful of basil leaves
- 600g fresh pappardelle pasta (you can use dried but it will take longer to cook.)
- grated Parmesan to serve
- Chopped parsley to serve
- Pre-heat your oven to 140’c
- Season the pork shoulder well with salt and pepper, pre-heat a casserole dish over a medium high heat, add a splash of oil and brown the pork for 2-3 minutes each side.
- Lower the heat and add the garlic and onion and cook for 4-5 minute.
- Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half (about 5 minutes) then add the tomatoes (canned and fresh) , balsamic vinegar, bay leaves and oregano and mix well (ensuring you scrap the bottom of the dish to get any bits that stuck), then add the basil leaves.
- Once boiling cover with the lid and place in the oven for 31/2 to 4 hours, the meat should fall from the bone when it’s ready.
- Cook the pappardelle according the packet directions and serve with grated parmesan and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
- What your friends enjoy this amazing meal and ask you for the recipe (don’t tell them, it’s our little secret 😉 )