Balsamic Pork Ragout2

Balsamic Pork Ragout

written by Julie Cohn

I was invited to join the Girard’s Premium Dressing’s Culinary Collective, and was sent several of their dressings to sample.  I was also invited to create a recipe, using one of the dressings, to be entered into a bloggers Culinary Collective cooking contest, with a chance to win a trip to Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference in September.  Guess what?!?!   I won!   My recipe for Balsamic Pork Ragout won one of five spots as winner of the Culinary Collective!  Here is my recipe for Balsamic Pork Ragout and a little information about Girard’s.


Girards 18Girard’s Salad Dressings

Since 1939, Girard’s has created innovative salad dressings, starting with their iconic French dressing.  Today, they have over fourteen distinctive flavors available, including the flavors sent for me to try: Girard’s Barista Balsamic, Champagne, Old Venice Italian, and the original French.

Girards Barista BalsamicAs scrumptious as these dressings are on traditional salads, I knew I wanted to create something unique and one-of-a-kind for my recipe.  While sampling the different dressings I could not resist the Girard’s Barista Balsamic, with its intoxicating roasted coffee taste blended into aged balsamic. Several years ago, I stayed at a French hotel in the San Francisco area (where Girard’s is based), and had a pork ragout dish to die for.  For years, I’ve tried to re-create the recipe, but could not get it quite right.  The sweet-tangy taste of the balsamic, and the spicy chocolate-like taste of the coffee together was just what I needed to perfect my dish.  How fitting is it that I created a recipe with coffee beans in it to compete for a trip to Seattle, known for coffee roasting and brewing?

Balsamic Pork Ragout

Ragout is a french stew slow cooked on the stove top for several hours, so all the flavors blend together.  Chunks of carrot, mushrooms, celery, and garlic are simmered with pork and other ingredients to make a hearty entrée.

  • 2-3 lbs Pork Roast
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Stalks Celery, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/3 c. Dried Plums, chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 c. Girard’s Barista Balsamic Dressing
  • 2 c. Beef Broth
  • 1 can Tomato Paste
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. Milk
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 c. Sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 stalks green onion, cleaned and chipped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 c. Grated Parmesan cheese

Girards 1Cut the pork roast into small bite size pieces, about 2-3 inches. Place the olive oil in a large stock pot and heat on medium high.  Place the pork cubes in the pan and sear for about three minutes on each side, browning the cubes.  Remove the cubes from the pan and add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and dried plums.  Saute for about 4-5 minutes, until softened.  Add the Girard’s Barista Balsamic dressing and beef broth.  Stir in the pork cubes, tomato paste, and nutmeg.

Girards 9Simmer for about an 1 1/2 hours on medium low, stirring occasionally so it does not stick on the bottom.  Add the milk, carrots, rosemary, and mushrooms, gentling stirring into the sauce.  Simmer for an additional hour.

Girards 10Stir in the green onion and Parmesan cheese, simmer another 10 minutes, then serve over noodles.

This recipe is so deceiving.  It tastes like you slaved in the kitchen for hours, but other than cutting the vegetables and pork, and stirring occasionally, most of the work is done in the pot as the flavors blend together.  The Girard’s Barista Balsamic adds a nice smoky flavor to the dish, so the Balsamic Pork Ragout tastes like it was roasted for days!  The ultimate comfort food!

{I was sent samples of Girard’s salad dressings to sample. My opinions and this recipe are 100% my own. }

For more information about Girard’s salad dressings and other recipe ideas, visit their website.

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Jennifer Van Huss 08/25/2014 at 11:31 am

YUM! That looks so delicious. Funny, I never add anything but ground beef to my spaghetti. I really need to branch out! THis looks so good!

Kelly Hutchinson 08/25/2014 at 12:07 pm

I have never heard of this product but the recipe sounds delicious as do the different dressings.

Barb 08/25/2014 at 2:49 pm

OMG. This looks amazing. You are SO talented!

Desiree Miller (@DesireeMiller) 08/25/2014 at 3:04 pm

Can you just come cook all this yummy stuff for me? Looks good…and oh boy, it’s dinner time!

Karin 08/26/2014 at 9:08 am

YUMM!! Thanks for the great recipe – looks perfect for back to school!

Mary Heston 09/05/2014 at 2:40 am

Congratulations Julie! I don’t cook but this is a recipe I am going to try. Love the article. Great instructional pics – very inspiring.

Honey 09/05/2014 at 9:59 am

Julie, this looks so good. I am definitely going to add this to my menu for dinner. Again, congratulations on your win. Have a great time in Seattle.

Becky 09/16/2014 at 12:30 pm

Julie, I look forward to meeting you at IFBC! And I loved this recipe idea 🙂


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