Saturday, November 10, 2012


Happy birthday Marine Corps, the finest fighting force in world history!  I am so proud to play a small role in their support.  I talked to my friend Herbie the other day and he thinks our blog is funny and cute, so I am happy.  (He also is going to pick me up some wine, yay!)  That's pretty crazy news about Gen Petraeus' affair and stepping down as the head of the CIA, I read a good article on Slate discussed the reasoning behind it.  Well, my mother and I went to Nanty Glo.  We had a great time and went shopping, ate lunch out and cooked up a storm.  We love Nanty Glo, and not just because it is my late father's hometown.  She made Aunt Connie's pepper rings, which she will blog about, and I made pork ragu and the "grand mother" tomato sauce.  We did not make pasta as I don't have a kitchen aid stand mixer with the pasta attachment, maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas.

So, both sauces are totally fabulous and I don't get why I have spent all of my adult life buying Ragu.  The "grand mother", named after the 5 mother sauces in culinary school, and is super easy to make.  I have made it since and my first impression still holds.  Really, all you do is carmelize onions, add garlic, crushed and fresh tomatoes, bay leaf and cook for 50 minutes.  I finished it with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.  It was so rich and fresh tasting.  Really about 150% better than anything I have bought.

The pork ragu was equally delicious, though a little involved.  I bought 3 lb of bone in country pork ribs and seared them.  I then sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots.  (I am happy to chop onions, celery and carrots in the food processor.  I do not believe I would be happy to chop by hand.  Funny, my dog Harry will answer to carrots, guess they sound similar!)  I added the wine and simmered, then added chicken broth (canned), crushed tomatoes and rosemary.  The seared pork was placed on top.  I was supposed to braise the whole thing for 3 hours in a 350 oven, but I only braised it for 1 1/2 hours.  The meat was falling off the bone at that point, so I took it out of the oven.  I shredded the pork and added it back to the sauce and cooked the whole thing on the stovetop for a little longer.  My house in Nanty Glo has a fabulous electric stove, thanks, Uncle Joe!

We ate both sauces over (boxed) pasta and couldn't decide which was better.  The grand mother was brighter but the ragu was more complex.

Delicious sauce!

More delicious sauce!

Doris and me!

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