Pork and Sausage Ragu

It's still well and truly winter here in Sydney and I'm still cooking on the cheapo $30 K-mart induction unit in the rental. The irony is that once my actual house is rebuilt I'm going to have one of the best kitchens in Sydney! But in any case, the weather is unpredictable this time of year and the other day my annual deep sea fishing trip was cancelled due to gale force winds outside the Heads. So I had a day working from home and I thought I'd make something nice. I've never made a ragu before so I thought, why not?!

The recipe is very simple but you do need to allow for a couple hours to make the sauce. To make the ragu you'll need:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • handful fresh oregano leaves
  • handful fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • 2 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 300g pork mince
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g semolina penne pasta
  • salt
  • pepper
  • handful grated Parmesan

Finely dice the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, add the oregano and parsley and set all the ingredients aside. Heat a large skillet and add the olive oil.

Once the pan is hot add the sausage meat and fry until browned. This takes about 3 minutes. Then add the pork mince, season with salt and pepper, and cook through, using a spoon to break up the mince. Once cooked remove the meat and set aside on a plate.

Add the vegetables to the hot skillet and cook until soft, approximately 3 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, and one can of water. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir and then simmer for 8 minutes. Add the meat and another can of water and then simmer for an hour.

When the ragu is close to finishing, boil a pot of salted water and cook the penne for 9 minutes. Serve the penne with a large spoonful of the ragu and cover with grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

Buffalo Wings and Bleu Cheese Dip - A Classic!

I'm pretty surprised that I haven't talked about Buffalo Wings on Gourmet Male until this point but it's always been everyone's favourite party food that I cook a couple times a year. And they are dead easy to make. In my opinion, nothing is more enjoyable on a sunny summer day than a massive platter of wings, veggies and bleu cheese, and some cold beers.

buffalo wings.jpg

I can't take credit for this recipe as the original Buffalo Wing recipe was developed over at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY in the States. But it's one of those dishes that has taken on many, many different variations over the years and across the globe. I prefer to stick closely to the original, which requires sourcing Frank's Red Hot Sauce here in Australia. Luckily, USA Foods carries a number of varieties and sizes, as well as heaps of other American foods.

I deep fry the wings but you can bake them, if you prefer. To make the wings you'll need:

  • 1 kg mini chicken drumettes (you can get these from chicken shops - ask for the unmarinated versions of whatever they have)
  • 175ml Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 100ml melted butter
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of dried cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce until properly blended. Deep fry the wings for 8 minutes at 180C and then dry over some paper towels. Once the grease is drained pour the sauce over the wings and mix.

Chop up some carrots and celery and add this bleu cheese sauce. You'll need:

  • 50g soft bleu cheese
  • 100g sour cream

Melt the bleu cheese in the microwave and then mix with the sour cream. Serve with the wings and veggies. Enjoy!

Let us know this summer if you try this recipe and if you have any favourite variations.