Roast Pork Ragu

January 17, 2017
Family Verdict:


2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

Olive oil

Half tsp dried chilli flakes

1 heaped tsp fennel seeds

300g leftover cooked pork shoulder, chopped into 1cm dice

700ml tomato passata

1. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a large frying pan or saucepan and gently cook the rosemary, onions, garlic, carrots, chilli and fennel for 10-15 mins until it all goes sticky and soft, stirring often.

2. Add the pork and stir through. Cook for around 5 mins, then add the passata and a little water and bring to the boil. 

3. Simmer approx 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick sauce.

4. Season and serve over pasta with grated parmesan


Here is a classic use-up-the-leftovers on a Monday night supper. It is unusual because it uses leftover roast pork - which is a roast I usually struggle to deal with leftovers from. Pork and Lamb, while fabulous hot and roast always to mu mind seem less appealing when cold the day after. It probably has something to do with the amount of coagulated fat there is on the cold meat. While hot this is unctuous and lovely, cold it is an intimation of mortality.

So I searched for ideas to use leftover roast pork. I have Jamie Oliver's excellent book "Save with Jamie" where the thesis is all about having a large roast on Sunday and then using leftovers for delicious meals during the week. I tried his meatloaf recipe with mixed success and family reviews, so I was a bit trepidatious about trying another one. However, in for a penny - and it transpired it was only me and The Boy having supper this evening anyway. He is mildly adventurous on food, and a big appetite so I needed something warm and filling. I served this with Pasta.

As it turned out, I liked this dish. Originally Jamie uses leftovers from a shoulder of pork, which would have broken down far more in the Ragu cooking. I had leftovers from a loin which stayed in pieces, but was none the worse for that. I also had no garlic in the house (after cooking this soup) so omitted it, and I don't think the flavour suffered. Please don't skimp on the cooking time for onions and carrot here though, it is essential to get the right flavour base. As ever, chilli and fennel with pork is an amazing flavour combination and results here in a sauce that is warm, mellow and comforting. Yum. Would be good also on a jacket potato I think - in fact I might do that with the leftovers. Although this has scored a 7 (the Boy) I would do this again.

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