Entries in ragu (2)


Episode 28: Buzzsaw Pork Ragu

After a month-long hiatus (that totally wasn't a hiatus, more of an inability to focus and get anything done until I realised "Oh crap, it's been like a month, I better do something!"), we are back! 



Phew, it's been a while! Look, not much to say on this recipe, apart from the fact that it came from a popular weight loss cookbook before I changed a few things. Pork neck is not the fattiest of cuts (certainly not when compared to pork belly, for instance) but it benefits greatly from a slow cook like it gets here. The actual pulling of the pulled pork was a bit tricky - I probably should have used a bigger bowl.


Also, I had trouble coming up with a synonym for "shred" to use at I tore up the pork with forks. I put out the word on Twitter, and received much help, but the suggestion that got my attention prompted this exchange:


And thus I got a name for this episode.


Music Notes:

Le Tigre - I'm So Excited, from "This Island", 2004

Franz Ferdinand - What You Waiting For?, from "Best of 86/06", which came with Q Magazine May 2006 

The xx - Teardrops, from "The xx [Bonus Disc Edition]", 2008

Alright guys, I will admit: musically, I hit a wall this episode. I cycled through the usual suspects, but none of them felt right. So I threw the question out to Joel (@gingerexplosion), a friend and resident fellow music nerd. He suggested a whole bunch of absolutely beautiful, moving, and haunting covers by Mark Kozelek of Modest Mouse & AC/DC songs, and M. Ward's cover of Bowie's Let's Dance. I couldn't use Let's Dance, as I used the Futureheads' version before. The other went directly into my playlists of choice, but didn't fit with the fast-paced nature of the video. It was Joel's feline companion & all-around cool person Anni (@annisugar) who suddenly suggested El Tigre's cover of the unsinkable Pointer Sisters track, which fit nicely with all the fast motion. I threw in Franz Ferdiand's utterly silly Gwen Stefani cover (complete with break-into-White-Wedding moment), and tacked on another of Joel's suggestions, The xx's version of Womack & Womack's "Teardrops" and voila! Crowdsourced creativity.



Buzzsaw Pork Ragu
serves 6, or 4 hungry folk


900g of pork neck, in 1 piece

2 capsicums

1 brown onion

2 carrots (I used purple, but orange is okay)

2 cloves garlic

1 400g tin diced tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground coriander seed

1 tsp cumin

rice, to serve

fresh coriander, to serve

lime wedges, to serve


  1. Get a great big pan (that has a lid) on medium heat with some oil. When the oil is hot, drop in your bit of pork. make sure every side gets a turn over 5 minutes or so.
  2. Lobotomise and chop your capsicum, peel and chop your onion, crush, peel and chop your garlic, and peel and chop your carrots. No need to be fiddly about it, either.
  3. When the pork is seared on all sides, take it out of the pan and immediately drop in the vegetables. Don't you dare clean the pan, either. Let the veg cook in the pork oil for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all your spices and mix it all together.
  5. Put the pork back on top of the veg, and pour over the tomatoes.
  6. Add the stock cube, and 500mL of water.
  7. Bring the whole mess to a boil, then reduce the heat down to medium low and cover for an hour.
  8. After that hour, take off the lid and let it keep doing its thing for another 45 minutes.
  9. Use tongs to fish out the pork onto a cutting board. Get two forks and shred that sucker into little bits. Use a knife for any stubborn pieces.
  10. Taste the sauce, and add salt & pepper (it'll need it).
  11. Return the pork shreds to the pan, mix it all together.
  12. Serve on a bed of rice, with fresh coriander sprinkled over & lime wedges on the side.
  13. Seize, and consume!


Episode 5: Sugo Alla Babe

Whew! Long time between episodes. I blame work being draining and my discovery of Skyrim. Also, since my last upate, a few people have gone out of their way to let me know that what i do here has inspired them to start their own cookery blogs/videos, which makes me feel all lovely and glowing. Go check out May & Diana's blogs (here and here) and tell them I sent you. 

Anyhow. Behold my old-school, untrendy, slow-cookin' pasta. It doesn't play your pokemans, it doesn't go to your blue light discos, and it certain, most definitely, doesn't listen to the newfangled rock and/or roll.

While this episode was edited and rendered in record time (again), and is the shortest Cover yet at 7 minutes, it contains some of the longest takes I've left in an episode. This is because this recipe is so easy and simple that it's just a matter of prepping the ingredients and sitting back. 

Music Notes

I tried, oh how I tried, to find some U2 covers from the new (Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-bi) Covered album, which features Modest Mouse, Nine Inch Nails, Garbage, Damien Rice, Depeche Mode, Patti Smith, Snow Patrol & the Killers, purely so I could make a joke about how it's a Sugo Alla Bono because it's so hammy. Sadly though, all the covers seem rather listless & lacking in energy. All the songs plod along, seeming under- or over-produced, totally devoid of fun. The sole exception is Jack White's howling, explosive version of the weakest Acktung track, Love is Blindness. So next I thought I could use some covers of the Strokes then realized I had nothing to say about the strokes except that I think they,re alright and that NME said they'd be the next big thing. Then maybe a Franz Ferdinand cover of a Gwen Stefani song? Nah, the version I have is too low quality, and again, nothing to say. 

So I went with the Pixies.

Gigantic - OK Go
Hey [Double Dragon Remix] - Fashion Victims, from
Dig For Fire: A Tribute to the Pixies

I had no knowledge of the Pixies before purchasing the first Like A Version. I had purchased it, having been wooed by the Cat Empire's French-language L'Hotel De Californie from the same program. The rest of the album wasn't quite as good, sadly, though I did like a catchy guitar version of "The Holiday Song" by some band called the Pixies. Seemed like a positive bunch. I might look them up (heh).

Cut to a few years later. I was continuing to practice with Tedwardo The Amazing Bass Player in our struggling duo They Came & Ate Us: The Musical. His then-girlfriend joined the group on guitar & vocals and brought a love of the Pixies with her. We learned Gouge Away, The Happening, Tame, and Wave of Mutilation, but we were stuck on Hey. And here's why. Hey is a song based around the vocals. All of the guitar flourishes and drum fills are framed around the vocals. However, it is also a long song and it's hard to find your place. So the vocalist lost her place, and the drums (me) and guitar (Ted) would not know where to come in. So we'd improv. And interpretive dance. Yeah.

Also, on a side note, I recall reading that OK Go, with their one-take music videos, that involve treamills, fields, marching bands, and other unreplicable oddities, were an attempt to return the viewer's attention to the band, rather than to the video's editor, therefore giving the power back to the band creating the music. 


Recipe Notes

A sugo is a generic word for a gravy or pasta sauce, but has come to be associated with slow-cooked ragus, the kind of dishes that are put on the stove in the a.m. to be served in the p.m. And are seasoned by old folks gossiping at a nearby kitchen table. This version is inspired by Spaghetti Al Bere Bere from Cooking Under The Influence. Like I say in the video, you can let this sauce sit for Anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Just make sure you add a little water or stock if it gets too dry.

Ingredients (I'd do a scan, but my scanner be strange tonight)

4 rashers bacon
1 4-cm-piece of flat pancetta
1 onion
2 tins tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons pesto
500g Spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, to serve

  • Put a big ole pan on medium heat.
  • Derindify your bacon and roughly chop it up. Seriously. Don't even try.
  • Cut your pancetta into 1-cm-wide pieces, then cut crosswise against the grain.
  • Add some oil to your pan, and toss in the pig bits. Let them cook, stirring when you feel like it, for 4 minutes.
  • Skin your onion & chop him up. Add him to the pan, coom for a further 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up to high.
  • Flatten your garlic, peel it, then chop it up and add to the pan.
  • 4 seconds after your garlic is in, crack open both cans of tomatoes and add to the pan. Bring the whole shamozzle to the boil.
  • Turn the heat to low & cover with a pan lid, or a plate set slightly askew. Cook for at least 40 minutes, or as long as you feel like.
  • Once it's to the point you reckon it should be, cook the spaghetti, then drain it.
  • Add 2 teaspoons pesto & a tablespoon of butter to your sauce & mix in. 
  • Add the pasta & stir to combine, desegregating it.
  • Top with fresh-grated parmesan, seize & consume!