Pork and pea ragu

Neil Perry
Pork and pea ragu: So versatile it can be served with polenta (above), rice, steamed potatoes or even on noodles or gnocchi.
Pork and pea ragu: So versatile it can be served with polenta (above), rice, steamed potatoes or even on noodles or gnocchi. Photo: William Meppem

This ragu tastes great with most meats, such as lamb, beef or chicken. Just adjust the cooking times. Serve it with soft polenta, rice or steamed potatoes. It's such a versatile dish, you can even serve it on noodles or gnocchi. Note that this recipe is best when the meat is marinated for eight hours before cooking.


1.5kg pork shoulder, cut into 3cm pieces

3 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, peeled, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp plain flour

500ml chicken stock

200ml tomato passata

1 cup frozen peas

grated parmesan, to serve

For marinade

2 fresh bay leaves

6 juniper berries

6 black peppercorns

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

500ml cabernet sauvignon

1 medium brown onion, peeled, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped


Mix all marinade ingredients together, add pork and refrigerate for eight hours.

Remove pork from marinade, drain and dry with a paper towel. Pass marinade through a fine sieve and reserve liquid.

Pour 2 tbsp of oil into a deep heavy-based saucepan and heat to high. Seal pork in batches and set aside.

Add remaining oil and reduce heat to low. Add onion, garlic and sea salt, and cook until softened (about 10 minutes).

Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Add flour and stir for 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk in reserved marinade, making sure there are no lumps. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

Stir through stock and passata. Add pork and any juices. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 1 hour or until tender. Remove pork with a slotted spoon and reduce sauce to thicken slightly.

In a separate saucepan, cook peas in boiling salted water until tender. Strain peas and add to the ragù, along with pork. Add a grind of pepper and a splash of oil.

To serve, divide between four bowls and top with a sprinkle of parmesan.

Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury