Country Pork Ragout with Apples 'n' Thyme  

Country Pork Ragout 
with Apples 'n' Thyme

It's a new year so a fresh taste is on the menu. Using Ontario Apples in this ragout adds new flavour to a traditional winter standby.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour, 20 minutes - Serves 8
2-1/2 lb (1.25 kg) boneless pork, such as shoulder, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) cubes
1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil
2 large Ontario Onions, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup (250 mL) sparkling Ontario Apple Cider
2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth or bouillon
1 tsp (5 mL) dried leaf thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried rosemary
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each ground sage, salt and cayenne pepper
4 to 6 small Ontario Carrots, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces 2-inch (5 cm) long
4 medium Ontario Apples (e.g. Spy)
1 sweet green pepper

Place about one-third of the pork in bowl or plastic bag; sprinkle with 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the flour. Toss or shake until evenly coated. In large deep saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat; cook floured meat, turning often, until lightly browned. Remove to bowl or platter. Repeat with remaining meat, adding 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil if needed. Save any remaining flour.

Add onions and garlic to oil remaining in pan, adding another 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil if needed. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with any remaining flour; increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add cider, stirring to remove any browned bits from pan bottom; cook, whisking frequently, for about 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in broth, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt and cayenne

Return pork and any accumulated juices to pan. Increase heat; cover and bring to boil.

Add carrots to boiling ragout. Decrease heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring often, for 30 minute.

Meanwhile, peel, core and slice, apples, into 1/3-inch (8 mm) wide wedges. Add to ragout and continue simmering, covered and stirring often, for 20 min. Seed and cut pepper into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes. Add to ragout and continue simmering just until pork is fork-tender and apples are "al dente," about 5 more min.

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