Mixed Beef And Pork Ragu With Rigatoni
I saw a post the other day from The Seasoned Traveller for Pappardelle With Pork Rib Ragu and it immediately brought me back to my childhood, one of my favorite Italian dishes my Mom made was a mixed meat ragu, Mom used both beef and pork and it was delicious the meat was so tender it literally melts in your mouth and the sauce is rich and thick. Laura (The Seasoned Traveller) made a mouthwateringly good ragu and served it with pappardelle, imagine that ribbon like pasta with the thick rich meaty sauce. Delicious right? Laura inspired me to make a ragu, I used beef short ribs and pork country ribs. Now I don’t know if technically that is the correct name for those ribs but thats what I know them as. They are meaty with just the right ratio of fat to muscle. It’s one of my favorite cuts of pork. I first sauteed the ribs in a little olive oil, then added some garlic and basil, tomato and slow simmered for about 3 – 4 1/2 hours until the meat was falling off the bone. I decided to make Rigatoni to serve with this thick rich sauce, the pasta is not delicate and neither is the sauce, its a great match. I make this the day before I serve it, the meat is quite fatty so I refrigerate overnight, scrape off most of the fat, reheat and adjust seasoning before serving. Added bonus there is something about an Italian sauce that always tastes better the next day, it’s that much more delicious.
Mixed Meat Ragu
4 meaty pork country ribs
4-6 beef short ribs
olive oil for pan
fresh or dried basil (8 leaves fresh and approximately 2-3 tsp dried basil) I never measure so its approximate do according to taste
2 cans (28 oz each) good whole tomatoes I like San Marzano – pureed in blender, run through food mill or broken up with your hands
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 shallot minced
3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
peperoncino or crushed red pepper a generous pinch
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in dutch oven, add the short ribs and sear, remove and sear the pork ribs, remove to plate. Add the shallot and saute until it softens, then add the garlic and lightly brown, if using dried basil add to the oil with the garlic also add the crushed red pepper when it is almost done. Add the crushed tomatoes and you can either put the whole tomatoes in the blender or food processor to puree or break with your hands or use a food mill. Add the whole tomato puree to the pot, season with salt and pepper, add the fresh basil. Now add the meat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium and simmer for 3-4 1/2 hours or until meat is fall off the bone tender.
To serve I remove the bones and leave the meat in nice size chunks, I don’t like to shred it. I add some of the sauce to a saute pan. add the al dente pasta and let it cook a minute or two in the sauce. Divide into bowls, add meat and a little more sauce and finish with a nice grating of cheese either parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano or both.