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Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

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Francois de Melogue

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Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Francois de Melogue » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:21 pm

Here's another recipe I made in the last few days at home. I have quit the Chef life for now and work at a winery doing whatever needs to be done... Here's a little background on us and a plug... I used our Valenti Ranch Zinfandel in the sauce which coincedently just got 89 points from Wine Spectator! Wahoo!

Claudia Springs Winery was founded in 1989 by Bob and Claudia Klindt in the picturesque Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, California. The Anderson Valley, located less than 100 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the very best locations for producing fine, cool climate varietals such as Pinot Noir and the white Alsace varietals. The unique combination of warm sunny days and cool foggy nights allow the grapes to mature slowly, developing to their full potential.

Claudia Springs wines are made exclusively from Mendocino County vineyards with special emphasis on Anderson Valley grapes. We produce incredible estate Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris from vines planted by Bob and Claudia in 1998. We also create award winning single vineyard designated and proprietary blended Zinfandels from premium vineyards in the Redwood Valley and Mendocino Ridge (1200 feet above the Pacific Ocean) along with a limited production of Viognier.

Our micro-winery’s annual production remains small at 2,000-2,500 cases. We prefer this level so we can continue to provide hands-on care of each lot of wine as we nurture it from vineyard to bottle. Every bit of the work, from crushing and pressing to bottling, is done by Bob and Claudia. Our hands-on approach allows us to maintain strict, personal quality control.

KLINDT VINEYARD, ANDERSON VALLEY

The Klindt Vineyard lies at the extreme western end of the beautiful and remote Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Known as the “deep end” in the lingo of the valley’s early residents, this is the coolest and most fog prone portion of the appellation. Running up from the valley floor in what is now being referred to as the Guntly Draw there is stretch of small vineyards which have been gaining in stature as being among the valley’s elite. The Klindt Vineyard lies at the head of this draw, and on the back side Pete’s Pasture Gulch runs westward returning to the valley floor. It is up this gulch at the extreme limit of grape growing that the cold air and occasional fog that move in from the ocean 17 miles away find their way to the vineyard, providing the unique micro-climate that contributes to the intense favors, firm acid and fine structure of the ensuing wines.

Planted in 1989, the vineyard consists of 8 ½ acres of Pinot Noir and 2 acres of Pinot Gris on a south by southwest facing slope. The soil consists of about 18 inches of heavy clay loam overlying a layer of fractured rock. These marginal soils, coupled with the cold climate, cause the vines to struggle and naturally limit production to an average of 2.6 ton an acre. The carefully selected Pinot Noir consists of 35 % Pommard clones 4 and 5 which provide the core of the wines with their contribution of red and black fruit and firm acid. 20% is clone 115 which adds bright fruit tones, aroma and depth, and 20 % is clone 113, from which comes structure, spice and aromatics. The remaining smaller blocks are 667 and 777 from which come red fruit, chocolate and earth notes.

Farmed sustainable, the Klindt family has worked diligently to improve what was already a great site. Regular additions of compost and annual cover crops of sweet pea, fava beans and barley rye, have brought to the soil essential nutrients and structure which enable the vines to mature the fruit consistently. Careful pruning, deficit watering and crop thinning ensure the concentration of flavors highly sought after by Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris enthusiasts.


Ragu of Pork ‘Valenti’
served over Spaghetti or soft Polenta
by Chef François de Mélogue

Ingredients for Four to Six Servings:

¼ c. Olive or Canola Oil
1 each Sweet Onion, peeled and finely diced
1 each Carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 rib Celery, finely diced
1 each small Fennel Bulb, finely diced
1 pound ground Pork
1 T. Tomato Paste
2 c. Claudia Springs Valenti Ranch Zinfandel
28 ounce can San Marzano Whole Plum Tomatoes
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 each Bay Leaf
¼ t. Red Pepper Flakes
to taste Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper
½ c. Heavy Cream
1 bunch fresh Basil, coarsely chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy gauged pan.
2. Add finely diced onion, carrot, celery and fennel and cook till translucent, about ten minutes.
3. Add ground pork and cook till meat is lightly browned.
4. Add tomato paste, Claudia Springs Valenti Ranch zinfandel, San Marzano tomatoes and their juice, chicken broth, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering for about one hour or until the wonderful aromas fill your house with a smell you can’t resist.
5. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add heavy cream and fresh basil and simmer another 15 minutes.
7. Check seasoning; serve over creamy Polenta or Spaghetti. Top with grated Parmesan or Romano and a drizzle of your favorite extra virgin olive oil.

Chef Notes:

This dish brings back fond Italian memories of my childhood despite being born to two French parents. Bob’s Valenti Ranch Zinfandel adds a beautiful spicy note due to the black pepper overtones found in the Deaver clones used by Valenti Ranch in their Zinfandel grapes. Do I really need to say which wine would best compliment this dish…? The multi award winning 2005 Claudia Springs Valenti Ranch Zinfandel.

about Chef François:

Chef François grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits at age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute before presiding over some of America’s best restaurants and country inns. In 1995 he completed a training with world renowned Joel Robuchon at his Michelin three star restaurant in Paris. In 2003, his new restaurant Pili Pili was rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine. He currently works for Bob and Claudia Klindt at their micro winery in the Anderson Valley.
Grimod
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Matilda L

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Matilda L » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:33 pm

Ground pork isn't widely available in butcher shops here. Which cut of pork should I ask the butcher to mince for me?
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Francois de Melogue

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Francois de Melogue » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:41 pm

I would pick a fattier piece like from the shoulder... you could either have the butcher grind it or hand chop as small as possible... or cut pork in larger pieces in the sauce THEN scoop them out and put for a few seconds in food processor... enjoy!

grimod
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Paul Winalski » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:20 pm

Ooh, this is a recipe I'll have to put in the queue of must-tries.

-Paul W.
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:41 pm

Francois, Hi

A friend and faithful correspondent made me think. First, is your recipe not little more than an adaptation of what most Americans call "bolognese sauce"? Second, will the recipe reallly work? Cnsidering the quart of red wine and chicken broth plus the liquids from a 28 oz can of tomatoes - will those reduce sufficiently in a single hour to make a ragout or will the sauce be more of a soup? Like my correspondent, I thought that a ragout was a long, slow simmering preparation.

Just questions....


Best
Rogov
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Shel T

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Shel T » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:32 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Francois, Hi

A friend and faithful correspondent made me think. First, is your recipe not little more than an adaptation of what most Americans call "bolognese sauce"? Second, will the recipe reallly work? Cnsidering the quart of red wine and chicken broth plus the liquids from a 28 oz can of tomatoes - will those reduce sufficiently in a single hour to make a ragout or will the sauce be more of a soup? Like my correspondent, I thought that a ragout was a long, slow simmering preparation.

Just questions....


Best
Rogov


Glad you asked those questions Daniel, I also thought there was a lot of liquid to reduce. Also have a question about the amount of canola or olive needed, and this a problem with my server, the amount didn't 'appear' properly, could somebody please help me out with that.
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:45 pm

Shel....that was one quarter cup. I also wonder about that quantity.....
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Shel T

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Shel T » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:33 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:Shel....that was one quarter cup. I also wonder about that quantity.....

Agree, and if I try the rec, will start with a couple of Tbls.
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Francois de Melogue

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Re: Ragu of Pork 'Valenti'

by Francois de Melogue » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:26 pm

Rogov...

more of an adaptation of what Italians would call a Bolognaise. Us Americans call jarred Ragu sauce with meat Bolognaise so as a country Icannot claim resemblance to this version. SO many forget a true Bolognaise is a liquidy more stock, more vegetable than just a tomato sauce. The pasta soaks up a good amount of the liquid. Feel free to use less or more of olive oil. A 1/4 c. is how I make it.
Grimod

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