Pork ragu – made with leftover roast pork

What can be made with dried out, leftover roast pork? I’ll show you now . . .

If there’s one thing I’m loving at the moment and that’s cooking once and eating twice or three times. Meaning using leftovers to create another dish. Ok, so it may not be just cooking once, you’ll need to cook again but using one protein (meat) to create three different meals.

Roast pork with the perfect crispy crackling, is our second favourite roast, although it wasn’t always like that. Growing up our nan would cook roast pork but it was never cooked all the way through and never had any crackling, from what I can remember. Nowadays, all pork needs is a day left uncovered in the fridge, then season the skin with sea salt and rub oil, salt & pepper over the meat. Cook at a high heat for 30 minutes then drop oven temp to moderate for a couple of hours. Perfect roast pork every time!

Except, something happened when I cooked my pork last week. I decided to try Jamie Oliver’s roast pork, where it’s slow cooked in the oven for 5-6 hours. I had the timer for the pork on my mobile and set a timer on the oven for potatoes. The timer dinged and the oven turned off. Unbeknownst to me, my pork had been sitting, uncooked, in the oven for almost 1.5 hours! And the reason I knew that was I couldn’t smell any meat cooking! When I started roasting again, my pork dried out! I was sooooo disappointed as I’ve never had that happen to me before but I took it in my stride. As a cook, these things can, and often do, happen. We just don’t like to talk about it!

So now how can I create a super amazing and tasty dish with the leftover dried roast pork? Dried meats love fat so it needs to be boosted with fat, not just oil. If you ever cook bacon in a pan or have pork or chicken fat leftover in the roasting pan, DON’T THROW IT AWAY! Place the fat in a small jar and leave it in the fridge until needed, like right now! The added fatty goodness will instantly bring dried meats back to life.

Now don’t be scared of the fat/oil content in this dish. If there’s one thing that will help bring any dried out meats back to life and that’s oils. There’s a big ‘thank you’ that comes from the meat as you’re cooking it. It’s true, the meat starts melting into the sauce straight away! And it doesn’t make the sauce oily or heavy.

With flavours as amazing as this, you’d think this ragu has been slow cooking for hours and hours, yet this ragu comes together in under one hour!

PREP: 10 minutes     COOK: 50 minutes     SERVES: 4-6 people
INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, grated/minced
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly chopped
1 can (400mls) whole tomatoes
1 cup (250mls) chicken stock
450 grams leftover roast pork
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine
½ water

TO SERVE:
Your favourite pasta, cooked al dente
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup tasty cheese, grated

METHOD:
Heat a frypan on medium-high heat with the slice oil, bacon fat and onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes then add the garlic, chilli and fennel seeds. Once the spices become fragrant, about 1 minute, pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock.

Once bubbling away, add in the pork, tomato paste, wine and water. Stir gently until the paste is well incorporated. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes.

Cook the pasta to desired doneness or as per packet instructions.

To serve. place pasta in the bowls and top with the ragu. Sprinkle parsley and grated cheese over the sauce and dig in. Enjoy xx

 

 

 

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