Pork Ragu with Zoodles
This was last nights dinner and it was very tasty The sauce was rich, meaty and delicious and full of texture. The zoodles had the right amount of body to cope with the chunky sauce without being overwhelmed. It did take a long time to cook (almost the entire afternoon), but the results were worth it. The pork and bacon I use is wonderful stuff that I buy from Spragg’s Meat Shop. About once every 2 months we order half a pig from them and we usually pick it up at the Calgary Farmers Market. In fact, we have one half-pig on order to be picked up tomorrow.
Because this contains nightshade spices and tomatoes, this is an AIP stage 4 reintroduction. When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.
2.5lb boneless pastured pork butt
8oz pastured bacon
1 large carrot – diced
2 stalks celery – diced
1 onion – diced
4 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups bone broth
1 cup red wine
1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional – if you don’t like spicy stuff leave it out)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut the pork into 1″ cubes. Heat a heavy pot to a fairly high heat and brown the cubes of pork in batches. Don’t dump the entire lot in the pan or they will not brown. As each batch is browned, remove them and add more. This may produce a lot of smoke, so keep your fan on or your smoke alarm will go off (Guess how I know this?).
Once the pork is all browned, add the bacon to the pan, reduce the heat to medium so that the bacon does not burn before all the lovely bacon fat has rendered out. Once the bacon is nicely crisp and there is a decent amount of bacon-fat goodness in the pan add all your veggies and the garlic. Cook until slightly softened but not browned – it will take 3-5 minutes.
Add the wine to deglaze the pan and scrape the base to remove any stuck on meat juices and good stuff.
Add the pork , the tomatoes, bone broth (not sure what variety I used – I suspect it was chicken. I need to start labeling my containers of bone broth!), all the spices and the herbs. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally for at least 3 hours, maybe more if you have time.
Remove the lid and allow to reduce until thick and delicious. This may take upwards of another hour.
Now you need to shred as many of the pork pieces as you can find – if you are finding that your pork is not shredding well, or is too tough, cook it for another hour until it is tender enough to pull into small shreds.
And that is the ragu made. You can now leave it in the covered pan while you make your zoodles. It will keep plenty warm enough.
Zoodles are basically zucchini noodles.
6 zucchini (It is pretty much 1 per person)
unrefined sea salt
oil to sautee
Cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices – as thin as you can manage. I had to use a knife because I don’t own a mandoline (one is on my wishlist of kitchen gadgets). Then cut each slice into thin noodles lengthwise. Sprinkle the zoodles that you have just made with a little salt – not too much, just enough to season them a little.
Heat a little oil (I used coconut oil but you can use whatever you fancy) in a wok and add the zoodles. Toss for a few minutes in the hot oil until they are tender-crisp but not coloured.
Serve topped with the ragu you made earlier.
This was an absolutely delicious ragu, one I will most definately be making again. And that amount just nicely fed our family of 6… this is all that was left.