February Food: Pork Ragu on Polenta

I'm just gonna' say it.
I am officially tired of winter.

We have had so much snow in the NYC metro area this year, record amounts.

My back hurts from shoveling.
I am ready for spring and also for a weekend in Miami. :)

It seems like I have been stuck inside a lot this month with the bad weather.
We close our antiques shop some days because there is no foot traffic, so why bother.

The only good thing about being stuck inside is making a meal like this.
It is reserved for February only.

It's a stick to your ribs kind of deal, not low fat, not farm to fork, not a low carb thing......it's a perfect, rustic dinner and a gorgeous one at that.

The recipe is from one of my favorite books, Rustic Italian by Domenica Marchetti.
Everything I have made from this book and her Glorious Soup & Stews of Italy book have been a keeper.
I love this book.

Disclosure: I made this pork ragu for a Sunday pasta dinner, and froze the leftovers.

This was a second meal made from the recipe, and we liked this one even better than the first.

Of course, the butter and cheese makes the polenta EXTRA good.

Ragu di Maiale con Polenta (Pork Ragu on Polenta): adapted from Rustic Italian

3 lbs. of meaty pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
kosher salt & black pepper
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed and left whole
3/4 cup of dry red wine (I used a Nebbiolo.....and drank the rest)
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf

To make the ragù: in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, heat some olive oil. Add as many pork ribs as will fit without crowding the pot and season with kosher salt and pepper. Brown the ribs 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter.

Leave about 2 Tbsp. of the fat in the pot. Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic and stir to coat with the fat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sauté the vegetables until softened, about 7 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes and bay leaf.

Return the ribs to the pot along with any accumulated juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cover and cook very gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Uncover and cook until the sauce has thickened, about another hour. Remove the garlic and bay leaf and discard. Transfer the ribs to a clean platter and let cool briefly. Cut the meat off the bones, shred it with your fingers and return the meat to the pot. Discard the bones.

For the polenta:

1 cup of polenta
4 cups of chicken stock or water
2 tbsp butter
sea salt & pepper
3 tbsp of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Bring the stock or water to a boil and add the polenta.
Keep the flame at medium-low, or it will spit and splatter you. Keep stirring and stirring until the polenta becomes thick.
Add in the butter and cheese and taste for seasoning. Add sea salt as needed.

Spoon polenta into bowls and ladle on that gravy. Sprinkle with some shredded Parm if you like and serve.
There will be a lot of food moans going on.

The perfect February Sunday Dinner.

Buon Appetito!


Anonymous said…
Typo in first ingredient. You might want to correct
Stacey Snacks said…
Corrected. Oh my. That was not good.
Thank you for noticing.
Hope no one was offended. Yikes!

Lanie said…
I had to snicker when I read the spelling error this a.m. So funny (and a bit raunchy!).

This is the perfect meal for all the snowy cold weather this winter.
I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! My mouth is watering as I look at the pics.

Happy Monday.
Good girl with the wine! Have everything for this. Love polenta, oh my.
Foodiewife said…
Snow never happens where I live, so I don't fully understand the misery of it all. However, we are in a severe drought, and I'd happily welcome lots and lots of rain. Hasn't happened, yet. As for this ragu, I'm laughing. I made a pork ragu that was out of this world. I absolutely adore polenta, and we make it the same way. This is truly one of my favorite dishes, with a glass of wine on a wet wintery night. Maye I should make more, so it might invite rain.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I'm with you on the book and on this delicious dish. I'd like two big helpings please. I'll work it off shoveling more snow expected tomorrow.
Unknown said…
I grew up with this kind of dish. This time of year in an Itailian household is sausage making time. All the leftovers (we made sure there was ALWAYS leftovers) were cooked and served over polenta.
Thanks for sharing Stacey!
Eileen said…
I am totally with you on being done with winter! We just had 17 straight days in St. Paul, Mn. that were below zero. My butcher block in my kitchen is cracking along the seams because of the dry air. I promise I will never complain about heat and humidity again!
Patsy said…
Darn it. I missed the typo!
A perfect dish for this miserable weather, although I'm actually hearing some birds chirping outside, so there's hope!
Oui Chef said…
Food moans are the best....well, almost. Love the broth that surrounds the polenta, looks so tasty!