Sweet Pork & Date Ragout


Eat the Week: Every meal, every dayI’ve eaten this so many times in our favourite Argentinian restaurant in Paris, and I love it every time. Now I’ve mastered my own version with added toppings and crunch. Don’t be put off by the long cooking time no work is involved for most of it, as everything is thrown into a dish and slow-cooked. I cannot recommend this enough… just writing the recipe makes me hungry.

  • Yield: 6
  • Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 4 Hours


  • 1 red onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 ancho (dried poblano) chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 60 fl oz 7 cups (1.75 litres) chicken stock
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 yellow courgette (zucchini), cut into 1 cm (½ in) rounds
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 14 oz (400 g) tin of tomatoes
  • 1 lb 2 oz (1 kg) pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into generous chunks (about 2.5 cm/1 in)
Salad Garnish
  • large handful of lamb’s lettuce
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced
  • large handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • glug of extra virgin olive oil
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/gas mark 3).
  2. In a large casserole or baking dish, combine the onion, dried chillies, garlic, bay leaves, stock, dates, courgette, paprika and tinned tomatoes. Add the pork, making sure the meat is well covered by the stock (add a splash of water if needed), then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and bake for 3–4 hours, giving everything a good stir after 2 hours. Keep an eye on the ragout during the last hour of cooking. You may need to add a splash of water if it seems dry, or take it out a little earlier if the meat is getting overcooked – you’re aiming for fall-apart tender meat in a sweet, rich, dark sauce.
  4. For your salad garnish, combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper, then pile on top of each generous serving of ragout.

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