This succulent pork ragu served on a bed of polenta is the perfect dish for all the family.

"For this recipe, I was inspired by the most amazing ragu served in a lovely farmhouse on the outskirts of Rome. The ragu was placed in the centre of a large wooden board and surrounded by polenta. The children had to eat through the polenta before they could have the meat. Interesting concept and it’s definitely one to try at home." – Cathrine Fulvio 

Yield: Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 400g/14oz diced shoulder of pork, trimmed
  • 50g/2oz diced pancetta
  • 4 large Italian fennel sausages, skins removed
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 350ml/12fl oz red wine
  • 600ml/21fl ozvegetable stock
  • 400g/14oz tinned diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 medium sprigs rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprigs of rosemary, to garnish

Method

  1. Heat a little oil in a large casserole over a medium heat, add some pork pieces and sear until lightly caramelised and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Work in batches to complete.
  2. Add the pancetta and sauté until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the casserole. Keep the sausages in chunks and brown them on all sides. Remove from the casserole pan and set aside. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, dried chilli flakes, fennel seeds and tomato purée to the casserole and cook for about three minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Pour over the red wine, stock, tomatoes, sugar and rosemary. Return the pork and pancetta to the casserole, cover and increase the heat and bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering over a low heat for about 50 to 55 minutes before adding the seared sausage chunks. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Check the seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper if required. Serve on a bed of polenta.  

Tip: If you can’t find the Italian fennel sausage, try a good quality leek and chive from your local butcher.