Slow Cooker Pork Ragu

I came across this interesting slow cooker recipe for pork with veggies in a tasty looking sauce, and thought it would be a nice way to use up a pork tenderloin that was not getting any younger in my freezer.

Yeh, sure and all, the original recipe from Closet Cooking called for using pork shoulder; but it also called for fennel, which I loathe with the fire of a thousand suns; so I kinda took it all as a starting point of suggestions, and made it more or less my own kinda ragu.

And I am happy with the results.

•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 pork tenderloin (1-1/2 lb)
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•2 cups onion, diced
•1 cup carrot, diced
•1 cup celery, diced
•1 cup shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
•1 cup diced apple
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
•2 cups chicken stock
•28 oz crushed tomatoes
•2 tbsp tomato paste
•1/2 tsp dried thyme
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp dried basil
•1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
•1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
•1/4 cup shredded Provolone/Mozzarella blend
•1 tbsp Sherry vinegar

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Note: my large slow cooker also has a browning setting, so I was able to make this all in one pot. If you have a single use slow cooker, you will need to have a large sauté pan as well.

Season the pork with the salt and pepper, then heat the olive oil in your pan over medium high heat.

Add the pork and brown an all sides.

Remove the pork from the pan and add the onion, celery, carrots, cabbage, and apple.

Cook, stirring often, for about ten minutes, until the veggies are tender, then add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for another minute, just until aromatic.

Transfer the veggies and the pork to your slow cooker, then add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, Sherry Peppers Sauce and hot sauce and stir well to combine.

Cover and cook on low for eight to ten hours, or on high for three to four hours.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and, well… now, you have two choices…

You could just slice the pork tenderloin and keep it warm while you finish the sauce; or

you could cube the pork and return it to the slow cooker along with the heavy cream, Parmesan, and shredded cheese blend.

Cover and cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is rich and creamy.

Stir in one tablespoon of sherry vinegar and, if you think it needs it, additional salt and pepper, then serve over noodles.

Pretty nice, pretty simple to toss together, and really quite tasty; though, as with all recipes like this, it was much nicer the next day after all of the flavors had really had time to blend together.

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