Sausage and Sage Ragu

The proportions of this ragu can vary depending upon your own taste. It’s a great dish and gets better if your negligent and it caramelizes a little. Gets even better if you ignore it altogether and leave it to rest overnight. Proper order.

You will need

2 Tins of Organic Tomatoes – get the best ones you can or else the dish will be watery and fairly tasteless

A little tomato paste

10 free range pork sausages

About 2 oz of smoked pork belly, skinned and cut into 1 cm cubes (can be left out if you can’t find it)

1 celery stalk finely diced

1 carrot finely diced

1 onion finely diced

Strong Mustard

Milk

Sage leaves

Lots of good ground pepper, a little parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon juice

In a wide saute pan sweat the celery, carrots, and onion in a little oil. Keep the heat low. Season well.

Skin the sausages and break the meat into the now softened celery, carrot, and onion. Break down the meat until it is spread evenly across the pan and resembles mince. As the meat cooks allow it to catch on the pan slightly and scrape up the caramelization that has formed. This caramelization will develop the flavor of the dish. The more the better but you must be careful not to let the meat burn. This is the tricky bit and it’s the basic difference between a great ragu and a mediocre dish made from sausage and tomato!

As you continue the process of caramelization, scraping up the brown bits and mixing them through keep an eye on time. After about 45 mins – 1 hour of over a low heat add a little more oil and increase the heat significantly. As the meats starts to sizzle loudly pour in your milk so that the meat is just covered. Stir well and reduce the  milk until there is about 2 tablespoons left at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and add about 1 tablespoon of mustard. Stir well.

Dump in your chopped tomatoes and stir well and place back on heat. Bring dish to a simmer and add the smoked pork belly. Allow at least 1 1/2 hours cooking time so that the pork belly has the chance to cook through and the flavours can develop. Mix through some chopped sage. Taste and adjust your seasoning with a little parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve mixed though (not on top of!!!!) some just cooked tagliatelle with plenty of cracked black pepper

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