I just had to blog this recipe. It is without question what I cook the most for Tony. He can’t get enough of my Pork and Fennel Ragu. It’s the one thing he requests without fail when I whizz up to the very sweet little Waitrose in Cirencester to do our shop. When I leave him up in the Cotswolds for the week, I make a huge vat of this on a sunday, and he’ll happily eat it for lunch and supper all week.
It makes a really interesting alternative to bolognaise sauce, and has very quickly become a firm favourite. Adjust the fennel and garlic to taste – we like both flavours to be prominent in the dish. I make this in the slow cooker for ease, but you can leave it to bubble away gently in a large, lidded pan, and it’ll be fine. I give it about 3 hours in my Le Creuset.
Pork and Fennel Ragu
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg free-range pork, minced
1 bulb garlic
2 tbsp fennel seeds (adjust to taste)
1 x 400g tin chopped plum tomatoes
2 x tubes tomato purée
1 x tube sundried tomato purée
1 large glass red wine
3 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the oil into a large pan. Add the pork and brown lightly. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for around 5 minutes until fragrant.
Transfer the meat to the slow cooker (if using), followed by the remaining ingredients. Stir well and allow to cook for at least 3 hours until the ragù has become rich and thick. I have been known to cook this for 8 hours on a very low heat.
Serve with your choice of pasta. I used pappardelle in the photo, but you can use any gluten free pasta or spaghetti, which is what I do for Tony.
It is lovely topped with some finely grated Parmesan cheese. And it tastes even better the next day!