hibernation food: pork ragu

pork raguwelcome to hibernation station. clearly, its the end of january and i actually just want to  hop in a hot air balloon that takes me to somewhere warm, say, belize. i think that would do. but at this point, ill take 20. it was a few weeks back during one of the negative days that i decided pork ragu was in order. thanks to DALS, this recipe has been on repeat this winter. it is the perfect weekend meal and the worlds best leftovers. like, i actually can’t stop counting down the minutes until lunch when i can eat this the rest of the week. salivating. the pork falls apart in your mouth, the wine makes it rich and the herbs bring out a freshness. IT JUST WORKS GUYS. so if you find yourself wondering what you are going to eat this weekend and you have a few hours to spare, i promise you won’t regret it when this fills your home with the yummiest aromas. happy friday! DSC00340DSC00356

pork ragu over pappardelle (serves 6ish)

  • 2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small pat butter
  • 1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • small handful of fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness
  • pappardelle, cooked to your liking
  • freshly grated parmesean

here’s how:

first off, if you don’t have a large enough pot to do this in the oven or just love your crock pot to pieces, don’t worry — you can use either. i’ve done both and either way works well. if you do decide to go the crock pot route, i would do it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until the meat is falling apart. now the fun stuff!

preheat oven to 325°F. take the pork out, salt and pepper both sides, don’t skimp on the s + p. add olive oil and butter to large dutch oven or stock pot and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn, about 1-2 minutes. add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.

add the onion and garlic to the pork and saute for 1 minute. then throw in your tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. once it starts boiling, cover, and put in oven. braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. the liquid should always come about 1/3 up the pork so add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed, i usually opt for the wine for richness. pork is done when it’s practically falling apart. take it out of the oven and grab out any stems from the thyme and oregano. next, pull it apart with two forks or mash everything with a potato masher, my preference. when it’s is ready, put pappardelle noodles in individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of parm. dig in!


hibernation food: pork ragu

sunday supper: easy meatloaf

IMG_0967grated parm

meatloaf. your mind may hate the word, but your taste buds will love it. i cannot remember the last time i actually ate it until today, always shuttering at the thought. but some little bird mentioned numerous times how much he wanted it, so there i went on a mission to make one we both could enjoy. let’s be real, there is no real kitchen expertise you need to throw this together. chop everything up, mix it in a bowl, pour it in a pan and call it a day. i’m on board, one thousand percent.

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easy meatloaf + sauce

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5-6 slices white bread
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flat lead parsley, chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1.5 teaspoons worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

here’s how:

preheat oven to 350 degrees. pour 1 cup of milk over bread and let soak for 5-10 minutes.

add meat to a bowl and top with soaked bread, parmesan, parsley, red onion, garlic. liberally season with salt and pepper and mix together with your (clean!) hands. now add your eggs and mix together again until blended. put this aside as you make your sauce. whisk together last five ingredients in a bowl to use as a sauce (ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire, hot sauce).

now there are two things you can do. you can pull out your loaf pan and pour the mixture into the greased pan as i did. however, if you don’t have one of these guys — no worries! form the mixture into a loaf on a broiler pan which will allow fat to drain. from here, spread 1/3 of the sauce to the top of the meatloaf and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.

after the 45 minutes is up, take out and spread another 1/3 of the sauce to top and put it back in oven for 15 minutes.

pull out of oven when 15 minute is up an let cool. slice it and add remaining sauce as you wish. serve with mashed potatoes and veggies of choice! mmm.

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sunday supper: easy meatloaf