This Ragu Recipe was one of my very first posts on Foodology Geek.
I decided to make this again for a family dinner the other night. This recipe is so fantastic, and the original photos that I shot did not do this dish justice at all. I really wanted to give this ragu recipe proper representation.
There was a massive bonus for me while I was redoing this post. It was really awesome to look back on one of my first posts and see how far I have come as a food photographer and writer. Seeing my original photos and comparing them the photos I shoot now not only reminded me of how much I have grown and improved but that I am still growing and improving and this time next year my photography is going to be even better and so is my writing.
Five years before I launched Foodology Geek I started a food blog.
I really wanted to do it, but I was scared it wasn't going to be good enough. I felt like there were so many people that were online that were way better than me. I convinced myself to think "what's the point?" So I gave up! I quit on my dream. The funny thing about passion though, is that it keeps showing up in your life knocking on that door, asking to be born. The thing you were meant to do doesn't ever leave you alone. I only think now that if I had started five years before how much further along I would be now. But, everything happens in its own time. So here we are.
I wanted to share this story because while becoming a food blogger and cookbook author may not be your dream. I know you have a dream or two that seems too big and too scary. You probably have a dream that sounds like it would be unreasonable to follow. I think you should follow it anyway. You only get one shot here and every year that passes by is just one more year that you could be practicing to be the best at whatever you dream of becoming.
Two years later I have written a cookbook, Beast Bowl Nutrition.
I've published it on Amazon and Apple Books. On top of this, I've also launched a second website called BeastBowl.life and offer healthy recipes and nutrition coaching. I am building my dream brick by brick. It's not easy every day, but I know that it is what I was born to do. I know there is no failing at this because it is my dream.
I would love to hear about a dream that you have that you are afraid to tell anyone you have. Comment below and inspire me.
From the original Ragu Recipe post:
As I finish up my second post I realize how much work I have to do on really getting my food photography skills up to par. There are so many incredibly talented bloggers and food artists out there. Practice makes perfect. I have ordered up some lighting solutions to help get more consistent light in my kitchen. So stay tuned for more recipes and more info on my experiments and practice with photography.
Now, back to the Ragu REcipe:
Ragu Sauce is a rich Italian style meat sauce that is served with a hearty pasta like pappardelle or bucatini. I also love this rich, meaty sauce served over a bowl of creamy, cheesy polenta. Of course, served with a gorgeous Italian wine. I imagine that if I had been Italian by birth that this is a recipe my Nonna would have made. Probably in a huge sauce pot or a heavy dutch oven Her house would have been filled with the smell of delicious sauces and amazing baked cheesy lasagnas. She would have taught me how to make her special homemade tagliatelle. Maybe this is a ragu recipe that your Nonna made. Lucky you!
A traditional ragu sauce is cooked for a long time and has fantastic flavor. This classic meat sauce can also be made with beef, lamb, or another one of my favorites, duck. If you are feeling like stretching your chef's legs, try making some pasta from scratch. It is really easy and so worth it. (I'm making a note that I need ot teach you how to do this.)
When I traveled to Italy and took a cooking class the host was telling us that her family makes pasta from scratch almost every single night. It is just part of their daily cooking routine. Pappardelle can be made by simply rolling out a scratch pasta dough and slicing it into ribbons. It's cooked in boiling water for about 2 minutes. How easy is that?
Pork Ragu is the kind of recipe that I love making on a Sunday afternoon.
Sunday dinner always gets a little extra attention in my house. I usually have a little more time on Sundays. Saturday afternoon's errands are done, and in the good months, I may have hit the farmers market, so I have some kind of beautiful fresh local produce on hand. I usually have the time to create something fabulous in the kitchen. The kitchen is a relaxing space for me to spend time creating and feeling connected to my memories and to food sources in my area.
Here is a PRO-TIP: I've experimented with making this dish with the bone-in pork shoulder and boneless pork shoulder.
The flavor achieved with the bone-in shoulder is hugely elevated in comparison to the boneless shoulder. Much of the flavor in a dish that is slow cooked like this one comes from the break down of the proteins in the connective tissues. The connective tissues being the tendons and other collagen-rich tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. When cooking with a roast cut, having the bone attached to your cut of meat allows all of those extremely flavorful proteins to meld into the broth and create a richness that is unmatched by merely slow cooking a boneless piece of meat.
Another one of my favorite recipes is my Milk Braised Pork Shoulder recipe.
I can't wait to share this recipe with you. This recipe is on my up next list. Imagine a bath of milk and wine and delicious herbs bathing a juicy pork shoulder in fantastic flavor. It is another example where a slow braising cooking technique is used to develop an amazingly rich and delectable sauce. Also amazing served with hearty pasta.
Don't forget to leave a comment if you make this recipe. I love to hear how it came out. And give it a start rating to show some some love here.
Pork Ragu Over Cheesy Polenta
- 4 lbs bone in pork shoulder
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 large onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup full-bodied italian red wine
- 1 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups salted water
- 1 1/2 cups coarse polenta
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- olive oil for drizzling
- Cut the pork shoulder into 3-4 large pieces. Trim excess fat and season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the oil to a large enamel dutch oven. Heat to medium-high heat. Caramelize the pork shoulder until all sides are well browned.
- Remove the browned meat from dutch oven and place on a plate to rest. Remove the majority of excess fat from the pan.
- Add onions to the pan and caramelize. If there are a lot of brown bits you can add a few tbsp of water to loosen up the flavor bits.
- Add the garlic and cook for several minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the tomato paste and brown slightly.
- Add the wine to deglaze that pan.
- Add the tomatoes to pan, crush with hands as you add them to the pan.
- Add the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate to the pan
- Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
- Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a medium-low simmer. Simmer with lid ajar until liquid has been reduced and the meat is falling off the bone.
- Before serving, remove thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
- Bring 6 cups of salted water to a rapid boil.
- Add the polenta to water while whisking continuously.
- Reduce the temperature to a medium-low simmer. Whisk occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the butter and cheese, whisk in to incorporate.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the finely chopped parsley.
- Serve and top with the pork ragu and serve with a delicious Italian wine.