My Spring veggie garden is coming along really nicely – the tomatoes are setting, the spinach is going great guns, salad leaves are a constant and I’ve had my first few borlotti beans from the youngling plants. Who knew borlotti were so pretty?
Lovely crisp stems of bok choy
Young daikon radish
Hands of toms setting nicely
I decided to pull up the last of the winter veg – a parsnip, a carrot and some beetroot, to make way for the baby pepper and aubergine plants, crop rotated into that space for this year.
Most of the beetroot became pickle, but I fancied something robust and comforting to help me fight off this cold I’m coming down with, so I came up with this recipe to use the rest.
Sagey Root Vegetable Ragu
- 1/2 kilo free range pork mince (mine was Riverview Farms)
- 1 large onion
- half a dozen garlic cloves (or to taste)
- 1 each medium carrot, parsnip and golden beetroot (use whatever root veg you fancy)
- 2 tins organic diced tomatoes
- 3 heaped tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 500ml meat stock (I used chicken as I didn’t have pork to hand)
- 1 cup red wine (you can use water or more stock if you prefer)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- Olive oil for frying
Finely dice all the vegetables, and the onion and garlic.
Sauté the onions and garlic gently in the olive oil for at least 5 mins until softened but not browned. Add the rest of the diced veg and continue to sauté gently for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This really brings out the sweetness of the vegetables and it’s worth the extra time and effort.
And bubble away for a minute to boil off some of the alcohol, or flambe if you’re being swish. Add the tomatoes, stock, and tomato paste, stir thoroughly, and add the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it bubble away for an hour until reduced. When it’s ready, you’ll see that the oil has separated from the tomatoes and sits in little juicy red pools on the surface of the sauce:
Serve with your favourite pasta and grate over some Parmesan. And a nice green salad. Preferably home grown!