Braised Pork Cheek Ragu

This easy recipe from Fat Olives in Richland for Braised Pork Cheek Ragu served with Horseradish Gremolata, Roasted Fennel, Roasted Carrots, and Creamy Polenta screams comfort food. You’ll want to eat this over and over again all season long! Recipe pairs nicely with 2018 WIT Cellars Mourvèdre.

2018 WIT Cellars Mourvèdre

Floral nose of roses, sandalwood, strawberries, and sweet woodruff. The mouthfeel is delicate and elegant, with ripe fruit flavors of currant, pie cherries and rose hips. The finish is supple with lingering soft tannins and fruity flavors.



Braised Pork Cheek Ragu with Horseradish Gremolata, Roasted Fennel, Roasted Carrots, and Creamy Polenta

Fat Olives

Pairs beautifully with 2018 WIT Cellars Mourvèdre

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Servings 4



Braised Pork Cheek Ragu

  • 1 1/4 lb Pork Cheeks
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary Crushed
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil *More for Drizzling
  • 1 Carrot Peeled and Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 c Mourvèdre
  • 28 oz Crushed Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 c Chicken Stock *More as Needed
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Horseradish Gremolata

  • 1 1/2 c Parsely Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 Lemon Zested and Minced
  • 3 tbsp Horseradish Finely Grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic Minced
  • Salt and Pepper

Roasted Fennel & Carrots

  • Carrots Peeled and Sliced Lengthwise
  • Fennel Sliced
  • Oil of Your Choice
  • Salt and Pepper

Creamy Polenta

  • 3 c Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 1 c Cream
  • 1 c Polenta *Coarse Cornmeal
  • 3 oz Parmesan Cheese Finely Grated
  • Shaved Parmesan to Top
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Salt & Pepper



Braised Pork Cheek Ragu

  • In a large bowl, toss the pork with the rosemary thyme, flour, salt and pepper.
  • In a large fry pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Working in batches, dredge, dust and sear the pork until browned on all sides. Transfer the pork to a platter and set aside.
  • Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the pan and sauté
  • Return the pork to the pan and add wine, tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir to combine and add more broth if necessary so that the pork is mostly submerged in liquid.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced slightly and the pork is just starting to turn tender, 20 to 25minutes.
  • Stir in the balsamic vinegar and rosemary and thyme sprigs. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally and adding more broth if necessary to keep the pork mostly covered, for 35 minutes more; the pork should be very tender but still holding together.
  • Discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Separate pork from sauce. Reduce sauce if needed, puree sauce if it is your wish or keep it rustic.

Horseradish Gremolata

  • In a small bowl, toss the parsley with the horseradish and lemon zest and season the gremolata with salt and pepper.

Roasted Fennel & Carrots

  • Slice separately, toss with oil of your choice, salt and pepper.
  • Place in separate pans and roast in oven.

Creamy Polenta

  • Bring cream and stock to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Whisking constantly, gradually add polenta; bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook, whisking every 10–15 minutes, until thickened and no longer gritty, 30–35 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add Parmesan, butter, and salt.
  • Cook, whisking, until butter and cheese are melted and polenta is the consistency of thick porridge.

Keyword horseradish gremolata, polenta, pork cheek, ragu, roasted carrots, roasted fennel, wine pairing

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