This is somewhere between a ragout and a stew. I serve it with good bread and a fennel salad, but you could have it over creamy polenta, or with pasta – in which case loosen the sauce with a little of the cooking water from the pasta to help coat it.
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 4.5 hours
- Olive oil, for frying
- 3 onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 whole bulb of garlic, sliced down the middle
- 6 fresh bay leaves, torn
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1.8kg piece of pork shoulder (bone in, skin removed)
- 500ml red wine
- 690g passata
- ½ nutmeg, grated
- 2x400g tins borlotti beans
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1 small bunch parsley, leaves picked
- Set a large casserole pan over a low-medium heat with a good glug of oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic (cut side down), bay leaves, cinnamon and fennel and cook for a further two minutes. Finally, add the tomato purée and cook for another two minutes, stirring so the onions are well coated. Remove the onion mixture from the pan and set aside.
- Turn up the heat and add a little more oil. Brown the meat on all sides, leaving it to caramelise properly before turning with tongs.
- Return the onions to the pan and pour in the red wine, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon as the wine bubbles up to loosen any gnarly bits. Then pour in the passata along with 250ml of water. Add a pinch of salt, plus the nutmeg and a good amount of black pepper.
- Put the lid on and bring everything up to a rolling simmer. Then reduce the heat to the lowest it’ll go and cook for four hours, or until the meat comes off the bone easily.
- Remove the meat to a roasting tray and use forks to shred it, leaving some bigger chunks. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile add the beans along with their water to the sauce with the red wine vinegar and sugar. Turn the heat up and simmer for half an hour. You want the sauce to reduce and thicken a little. Taste and add more salt if it needs it.
- Turn the heat down and return the meat to the pan to heat through. Drizzle the cream over the ragout, add the torn parsley, and serve.