Musings about Food & the Politics of Food.

TartQueen's Kitchen

An Addendum to Ragú for Non-Pork Eaters

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Sahar

As I stated in my earlier post on Ragú alla Bolognese, this is a recipe that can be made with one type of meat or a mixture.  My recipe is 100% pork.

However, I do know there are some readers of mine who don’t eat pork for a variety of reasons.

You can substitute the ground pork for:

1.  Ground Beef (I recommend chuck, it will hold up better under the long braising process)

2.  Ground dark poultry (i.e. chicken or turkey thighs.  The flavor is better and the meat won’t dry like white meat will)

3. Ground veal (however, it is expensive and some have a moral aversion to using it)

4.  Ground or diced fowl (duck, primarily. Plus, a little crispy dick skin as a flavoring on the pasta is wonderful.)


As for the prosciutto, or as some recipes call for, pancetta (basically, Italian bacon), that can be substituted with either turkey bacon or beef “bacon”.  Now, both of these don’t necessarily come thick-sliced, so my recommendation is to cook either of these bacons with the vegetables rather than start them separately.  Otherwise, they could burn.

Another substitution is Italian Bresaola, spiced and air-dried beef.  It is saltier than prosciutto, so be careful when you add additional salt to the recipe.

If you can find it, duck prosciutto is another good alternative.


Now, for my Muslim readers.  A substitution for wine.  Now, you can just omit it all together if you prefer.  However, there are substitutions that can still give you the flavor component without the alcohol.  You can add extra broth if you want to keep the liquid amount consistent.  You can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for the acidity and 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple juice for the sweetness.



Hope this helps!

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