Sweet anise fennel is great for digestion. So I doubled the dose in this Pork & Fennel Ragu by using seeds in the sauté, and the bulb in the pork sauce. Pork and fennel are always great partners in a dish – the distinct sweet anise flavour of the fennel helps ‘lift’ the pork into something quite delicious.
This was one of those invent it as you go meals and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure where the end dish was heading. I haven’t cooked a dinner like this in a long while – it felt liberating not to follow a recipe I’d planned prior to stepping in the kitchen! I wasn’t intending on blogging this recipe, but since it was so delicious and I’d fortunately made a note of the ingredients along the way for future recipe development I decided to blog it. Thanks goodness for making a huge batch which allowed me to photograph the leftovers in broad daylight. I’m sure I’m not the only food blogger who curses cooking in the evening in Winter since its impossible to take a great pic without beautiful natural daylight?
I served my Italian inspired ragu over courgette (OK, OK its zucchini in America I know *cringe*) spaghetti, made in 10 seconds with a julienne peeler, and braised in a little butter in a shallow pan. Speediest pasta on the block. Gold medal worthy in fact.
Such a simple and deliciously quick super, with very little prep. This could be a staple for me from now on.
What are your favourite ways of cooking up a batch of pork mince?
- 1 Tbs butter (or ghee), or other high heat oil
- 2 Tbs fennel seeds
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1 large fennel bulb, finely sliced
- 500g free-range pork mince
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled, small dice
- 1 Tbs minced fresh thyme
- 1 red pepper, small dice
- 1 Tbs tomato puree
- 1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 large leaves of chard, shredded (or collard greens / spinach)
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to season
- Warm the butter in a pan, and fry the fennel seeds for 30 seconds or so whilst the aroma releases.
- Add the onion and fennel root and saute till softened, approx 6-8 mins. Add a pinch of salt.
- Add the pork mince to the pan, and cook until browned all over, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
- Add cubed sweet potato, thyme, pepper, tomato purree and can chopped tomatoes, simmer for 30 mins, stirring frequently.
- Just before serving stir through the chard till it wilts.
- Add parsley, season to taste then remove from heat and serve over the courgette spaghetti.
Bonus points if you can spot my reflection in the spoon. I should have added get better at food photography to my 2014 wish list…