Ragout of pork, sage & olives

Add the olives towards the end of cooking or they will lose some of their flavour and become bitter.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 750g diced pork shoulder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 200g tinned diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup veal stock
  • 1/4 cup Arbequina (or your favourite) olives
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Soft polenta, to serve


In a large heavy-based saucepan on a high heat, warm the oil and add pork. Season with salt, colour lightly all over then remove from the pan and set aside.

Reduce temperature, then add onions and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, celery, carrot and sage and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the wine and allow to reduce until almost dry.

Now add tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, both stocks and bring to the boil. Return pork to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and very gently cook for about 1½ hours. Simmer until the pork is tender and sauce has reduced, adding olives at the end.

Remove from heat, add pepper, lemon juice, zest and parsley. Adjust seasoning and serve with soft polenta.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
The Yarra Valley isn't generally known for its sangiovese, however this 2013 De Bortoli Vinoque makes you wonder why more isn't made. We see classic dark cherries, dried herbs, olive tapenade and crunchy acidity finished with dusty tannins, which all scream for food.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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