This week I've been taking my new-found love of slow-cooking further by attempting to create every evening meal from scratch. My reasoning behind this is it will free up more time for me to squeeze in some extra work, save some money on the weekly shopping bill and give us all some healthy, home-cooked food that's super tasty and easy to make.
One of the best recipes I've come across that we've all loved this week is slow cooker pork ragu, which I've adapted from this recipe over on Netmums. I haven't deviated too far from the original recipe because I'm not that confident yet but instead of using left-over roast pork cut into chunks, I've substituted it for a big tub of pulled pork that I had left-over in the freezer (I had originally slow-looked a pork leg joint, much in the same way as I did for my slow cooker whole chicken).
1 stick of celery
1 largish onion
1/2 red pepper
about 400g pork (either leftover or fresh)
2 smoked bacon rashers (I used tesco's cooking bacon pack)
500g passata (usually come in a 500g carton)
#1 First you're going to want to give your veg a good rinse under the tap. I mostly do this because I like to leave the skins on for extra flavour.
#2 Finely dice your onion, celery, courgette, carrot (or any other veg you want to include) and add them to your slow cooker
#3 Slice your bacon rashers into really thin slivers (or if you're like me, just rip it up with your fingers) and pop them into the slow cooker too.
#4 Now for the pork. If you're using fresh, dice it up into small cubes and add it to the slow cooker. You can brown it first if you like, but it's not necessary as it will cook slowly during the day. If you're using pork that's leftover, make sure it's thoroughly defrosted, dice or shred to ensure it's not in massive chunks and add it to the rest of your ingredients.
#5 Next you're going to mix it up a bit before pouring over that lovely passata with it's amazing smell. Get used to it, that scent is going to be wafting through your house for the rest of the day.
#6 Add a teaspoon of your favourite herbs (I chucked in a couple of pinches of generic mixed herbs) and give everything a good mix.
#7 Pop your slow cooker lid on and cook on low for around 6-8 hours.
Every now and then I checked in and gave the ingredients a bit of a stir to make sure nothing was stuck, but this usually isn't a problem as there's enough moisture to prevent any sticking. Serve on a bed of pasta (we used fusilli but tagliatelle makes a nice alternative) or rice and sprinkle a little parmesan on top if you like and you're ready to get stuck in.
Seriously everyone loved this and you can substitute some of the veg for your favourites- perfect for getting your little ones to eat their greens! Have you cooked this before? What other tips could you add for a super tasty slow cooker pork ragu? Leave your comments- I can't wait to read them!
Stacey started blogging to try and regain a little bit of sanity and isn't entirely sure if it's worked. She has three children, a significant other and a lot on her hands. They're full stocked, raring to go and prepared for all adventures, including the Zombie Apocalypse!
Blogs at: Five's a Fellowship