Serious Eats: Recipes

Meat Lite: Pork, Pear and Mushroom Ragu

Editor's note: Philadelphia food writers Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond drop by each week with Meat Lite, which celebrates meat in moderation. Meat Lite was inspired by their book, Almost Meatless.

Pork, mushrooms and broth simmer together to make this sauce rich with complex savory flavors. The studs of sweetness from the pears are an unexpected but appetizing partner for the other ingredients. Plus, the pears soften and help thicken the ragu, while keeping their shape and adding texture to the final dish.

Just a quarter-pound of pork forms the foundation of the sauce, creating the fond (better known as "tasty brown bits"), which are deglazed up from the bottom of the pan and into the simmering liquid. Use ground turkey, chicken or veal if you prefer any of them over pork. For a vegetarian version, brown the mushrooms first and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

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