Easy and delicious slow pork ragu

The recipe below is another dish born as if a premonition, just before our life changed dramatically with quarantines and lockdowns in 2020. The simple and easy cooking of meat with vegetables in bulk served our family well during uneasy winter of 2020 in Melbourne. Cooked to any family tastes in terms of quantity of liquid and spices added, this dish is nourishing, delicious and comforting. It is also very flexible in terms of side dishes and storage. The taste does not change after refrigeration and freezing. I like it with gluten free pasta, but it will go well with rice, buckwheat, quinoa, lentils as well as steamed greens.

Ingredients:

  • pork neck (I had 1.5 kg piece)
  • 6-7 carrots
  • 3 medium or large onions
  • middle parts of cauliflower leaves (which I like to use intead of celery)
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • white parts of spring onions
  • 2 table spoon of olive oil
  • pinch of fennel, cumin and caraway seeds each
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 dessert spoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 table spoons of homemade preserve of garlic, sweet and hot chilli peppers (can be replaced with fresh 3-4 garlic cloves, sweet chilli pepper and hot chillies)
  • I also used table spoon of frozen coriander stems
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • in a large pot, the ideal one is a Dutch oven, heat olive oil, add all seeds
  • slice onion in semi circles, fry them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes
  • season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to a minimum and caramelise onions until translucent
  • take cooked onions out of the pot
  • place sliced cauliflower leaf stems, half of sliced carrots, halved cherry tomatoes and 1 spoon of garlic preserve on the bottom of the pot
  • spread pork neck cut in big chunks in 1 or 2 layers over vegetables
  • place the rest of carrots over meat
  • place caramelised onions over carrots, add cloves and mustard
  • peel eggplant, slice it in 2-3 mm thick slices
  • use eggplant slices as the top layer, add the second spoon of garlic and chilli preserve
  • cover the contents of the pot with boiling water
  • heat until boiling point on medium heat, reduce heat to a minimum to keep the dish barely simmering covered with a lid
  • add coriander stems and chopped spring onions at boiling point
  • I season the dish with salt and pepper mid cooking time
  • the liquid will partially evaporate and that will change the taste of the dish
  • depending on how much liquid you want to have in a final dish, cook it under lid all the time or part of the time
  • cook until meat chunks start to fall apart
  • you can stir the contents of the pot
  • I like to leave the dish to cool very slowly in a pot, covered with kitchen towels and a special wool pot cover I have knitted
  • under those conditions the dish stays very warm (even hot) after 2-3 hours, this approach allows the taste of the dish to develop even more
  • overall cooking time depends on meat itself, type of pot you use and the size of meat chunks

Bon appetite!

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